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Can supply-side policies reduce unemployment?

Analyse how supply-side policy measures could reduce unemployment.


CIE October/November 2023.



(Step 1: Introduction, denine unemployment and supply side policy measures)

Unemployment, in economic terms, refers to the situation wherein individuals who are able, willing, and qualified to work cannot find employment opportunities. One approach to tackle unemployment is through supply-side policy measures. These measures aim to improve the productive capacity of the economy, thereby increasing labour demand and decreasing unemployment. This essay explores how these policies can help in reducing the unemployment rate.

(Step 2: ways supply-side policy measures reduce unemployment)

⭐Education and Training

Increasing spending on education and training may raise the quality of education and training. If this does occur, workers’ skills and productivity may increase as well as their fl exibility and mobility. This measure can primarily combat structural unemployment, wherein there is a mismatch between the skills workers possess and those demanded by employers. By improving education levels and offering specific vocational training, skills gaps can be filled, mitigating unemployment caused by structural changes in the economy.

⭐Income Tax and Unemployment Benefits

Cutting income tax may encourage workers to increase their working hours and accept promotion and greater responsibility. It may also persuade some workers to stay in the labour force for longer and persuade others to enter the labour force. A reduction in welfare payments may encourage some of the unemployed to put more eff ort into searching for a job.

Reducing income tax and unemployment benefits can provide an incentive for unemployed individuals to seek employment earnestly, thereby reducing frictional unemployment, which occurs when workers are between jobs. The decrease in unemployment benefits makes prolonged unemployment less appealing. Together, these measures make employment more financially attractive.

⭐Corporate Tax Reduction and Tax Incentives

Reducing the corporation tax and providing tax incentives may spur firms to invest and expand their output. As firms grow, the demand for labour increases, subsequently reducing unemployment.

⭐Privatisation and Deregulation

Privatization and deregulation can lead to efficiency gains. By reducing restrictions, firms can become more competitive, subsequently reducing costs and allowing them to employ more workers. This avenue addresses the issue of cyclical unemployment, which is unemployment resulting from the economic downturn or recession.

⭐Labour Market Reforms and Trade Union Reforms

Trade union reform may also increase workers’ fl exibility and mobility and cut down on the number of days lost through strikes. Increasing spending on infrastructure can reduce fi rms’ ransport costs.

⭐Infrastructure Spending

Government expenditure on infrastructure can lower firms’ cost of production and transport. Such investments can stimulate economic activity, encouraging firms to expand and hire more workers.

⭐Minimum Wage Legislation

Modifying minimum wage legislation might also be beneficial. Reducing it can encourage employers to hire more workers, while increasing it might motivate currently unemployed individuals to seek work actively.


Government subsidies can encourage firms to expand or prevent them from going out of business, thus preserving jobs.


Improved healthcare provisions can lead to a healthier workforce, increased productivity, and reduced working time lost due to illness, thereby indirectly affecting unemployment rates.

(Step 3: Conclusion)

In conclusion, supply-side policies present a multifaceted approach to tackling unemployment. When combined wisely, these strategies can lead to sustainable employment growth by enhancing productivity and competitiveness. However, these are not quick fix solutions, and their efficacy relies on the correct identification of unemployment types and skillful policy implementation.






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