Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People

Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein show us the routes to much lower levels of unemployment and how this benefits the economy and society as a whole.


Years after the official end of the Great Recession, millions of Americans still face the bitter realities of unemployment and underemployment. In spite of this, the media and politicians remain fixated on lurching from one manufactured calamity to the next, all while ignoring the real problem: the jobs crisis.

In their new book, “Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People,” Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein make the case that refocusing the debate on jobs and policies that encourage full employment will not only grow the economy, but will lead to lower budget deficits and debt while diminishing our historically high rates of inequality.

As Baker – one of the first economists on record to recognize and warn of the dangers posed by the stock and housing bubbles – and Bernstein – formerly the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden — point out, it is common sense that low unemployment is a good thing. But what most may not realize is that high levels of employment will have enormous benefits for the people who already have jobs. The authors show that in times of high employment workers can secure substantial wages gains and a share of the nation’s economic growth.

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calls “Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working Americans” “a gem of a book — explaining why full employment is so important and how it can be achieved. Mandatory reading for every concerned citizen.”

“Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better bargain for Working People” is available as a free download or from your local bookseller as a paperback, available for purchase at cost.