State Employment Programmes: Politics Aside?
State-financed employment programmes have become a new tradition since 2006. While the true scale of the unemployment problem in Georgia is misrepresented by the official statistics, the actual magnitude of unemployment is acknowledged by the heavy focus on the issue, especially at politically sensitive times. Elections have proven an especially effective moment to capture the momentum. The Georgian government initiated the first employment programme prior to local self government elections in 2006. The second employment programme “Employment Programme 2007: Employment through Development of Small and Medium Enterprises” - commenced in the summer of 2007. Although this programme largely precluded the need for another one in the same year, the mounting tensions in the fall prompted an additional employment effort by the government by the end of 2007 prior to the snap presidential election. This report will look at the two latest programmes and the peculiarities associated with the Georgian policies aimed at taming unemployment.