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How to confront unemployment

The actions of public policies towards employment, income and professional formation have become more and more demanding when faced with the profound transformations in the productive system in the State of São Paulo and their consequences: elevation of the unemployment rate and the need for the re-qualification of the work force. A diagnosis of this picture is being carried out in the project coordinated by Márcio Pochmann, of the Economics Institute of Unicamp, supported by FAPESP and having a partnership with the State Department of Labor Relations (Sert).

“Our goal is to identify the real demands in this field and with this to correctly direct the programs at the disposal of the department, in order to make them more efficient”, explains Pochmann. From an analysis of the policies implemented by Sert since 1995, it has been possible to identify the target clientele of the micro credit programs to be attended to through resources of the People's Bank (Banco do Povo), National Program for Family Agriculture (Pronaf), Self Employment Program (PAE), Program for the Generation of Employment and Income (Proger), First Job and Work Fronts. It was also possible to identify partnership institutions for professional formation programs.

In the first phase, according to Pochmann, they got down to evaluating – through a series of seminars that count upon the participation of staff from SERT and specialists from the Center of Union Studies and of the Labor Economy of Unicamp – what is the capacity of the state to interfere in the jobs market. In the second phase, other seminars will analyze the most adequate form of the implementation of public policies in this area. “The greatest merit of the project up until now has been the formation of a team of scholars (historians, economists and sociologists), concerned about obtaining quantitative and qualitative results”, says Pochmann.

For example, it is known that between 1995 and 2000 the unemployment rates doubled, in spite of there having been investments in the qualification of the work force and the expansion of important programs such as those of micro credit (the People's Bank) which today has more than one hundred branches throughout the State.

At the end of the project, Pochmann hopes to produce not only just another report, but a reference point for the analysis of public policies, offering an evaluation methodology with criteria of administration and impact (efficiency and effectiveness). “We want to effectively place the knowledge of the university at the state disposal and to allow the training of municipal commissions on employment in the identification and administration of local public policies.”