Big Ideas for Job Creation

A Policy Brief Highlighting Job Creating Initiatives

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

November 1, 2011


The nation's unemployment rate has turned stagnant, and it is unclear how to best address it. 

Traditional fiscal and monetary policies enacted by the government are not working as expected. Partisan debate tends to make any new approach unlikely, leaving states and cities to step up and enact policies of their own if the unemployment crisis is to be addressed. This action must consider the unique position of a region's economy, and draw on more tools than the knee-jerk tax cuts and infrastructure investments. 

This report highlights 13 ideas worthy of consideration and potential investment. They include low-cost, readily implementable programs that would create jobs accessible to low-skilled workers, and avoid gimmicks as well as wasteful incentive programs that simply lure jobs from one place to another. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Key Takeaways

Based on this research, we estimate that for a wide range of costs — from $1,000 to $230,000 per job — we could spur the creation of a variety of jobs, from part-time self-employment through full-year, full-time high quality jobs (see Table). Taken together, these Big Ideas can create millions of new jobs for our country.

Cities and states need to carefully weigh their particular situations and all of the approaches to piece together a jobs creation plan that works best for them.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations