MAGMA is the world's first job guarantee project that addresses the issue of long-term unemployment by offering job guarantees, support services, and access to decent employment for job seekers.
UNEMPLOYMENT HAS HIGH COSTS
Long-term unemployment is a serious issue that not only takes an immense personal toll on individuals, but also carries high economic costs for society as a whole. Launched in 2020 in the Lower Austrian Municipality of Gramatneusiedl, the MAGMA project – the world’s first evidence-based job guarantee model – responds to these challenges by offering opportunities to the long-term unemployed.
A JOB GUARANTEE AND INTEGRATED SUPPORT
The MAGMA project is unique in offering a universal and unconditional guarantee of a well-paid job to all people unemployed for longer than twelve months, through alternative forms of employment. The programme also offers a wide range of support services to participants that are aimed at preparing them for the job market, including one-on-one training, counselling, and support from social workers, doctors, and psychologists. Participants are supported in their search for work and are either guaranteed paid work in the private or public sector, or they are supported to create a new job for themselves based on their existing knowledge and skills. Participants earn at least the minimum wage, bringing their income above their previous social benefits.
IMPROVING SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL WELLBEING
The pilot project eliminated long-term unemployment in Gramatneusiedl – an important result, given the programme’s entirely voluntary nature – and provided participants with more income and greater financial security. Moreover, an evaluation of the programme conducted by the University of Oxford and University of Vienna showed that participants were happier, more financially secure, and more involved in their community. These improvements in social and financial wellbeing, as well as a reduction in overall unemployment, have been a consistent benefit since the project’s inception.