Unemployment is a big problem in both developed and developing countries. Some people suggest that this problem can be solved to a certain extent by reducing the working week to thirty-five hours. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?
Rising unemployment is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems faced by several countries. Unemployment leads to poverty and unhappiness. Worse still, the unemployed youth may turn to antisocial activities.
Some people suggest that joblessness can be reduced to a certain extent by limiting the number of working hours in a week. While this might seem to be a viable solution, I don’t think that this proposal should be implemented because it is highly controversial and may be counter-productive.
The reasons behind this proposal can be easily understood. When employees are not allowed to work for more than 35 hours a week, companies will have to recruit more staff. This will reduce unemployment to a certain extent. This arrangement will also be beneficial for employees who work in long shifts. In many factories, employees are required to work for 10 – 12 hours a day. If the working week is reduced to 35 hours, they will get some relief.
However, there is a strong argument against this proposal. If a company is required to recruit more staff to produce the same quantity of goods, its wage bill will increase. Consequently, its products will be more expensive. Expensive products will have few takers and the company will incur huge losses. A company that makes loss will have to lay off staff. This will lead to more unemployment. Reducing the wages might be another solution, but in many economies, people are already struggling to make both ends meet. And hence any move to reduce their wages cannot be justified.
To conclude, this is a complex issue. The proposal has both advantages and disadvantages. However, I feel that it shouldn’t be implemented because it is unlikely to produce the desired results.