Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/13/1978)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #495 (70-19))

Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act - Sets forth the general findings of Congress with respect to unemployment and related economic problems. Allows a national Employment Conference to be held in the District of Columbia within a reasonable period of time after enactment of this Act to consider the subject of employment, with particular attention to structural unemployment, the plight of disadvantaged youth, and incentives for private sector employers to hire the hardcore unemployed.

=Title I: Establishment of Goals and General Economic Policies= - Amends the Employment Act of 1946 to declare and establish as a national goal the fulfillment of the right to full opportunities for useful paid employment at fair rates of compensation of all individuals able, willing, and seeking to work. Declares inflation and trade deficits to be major national problems requiring improved government policies.

Declares the purpose of this Act to achieve a balanced Federal budget consistent with the achievement of the medium-term economic goals specified in this Act. States that it is the policy of the Federal Government to use all practical means consistent with other essential considerations of national policy to provide sufficient incentives to meet the investment needs of private enterprise.

Declares the purposes of this Act to rely principally on the private sector for expansion of economic activity and creation of new jobs, and to encourage the adoption of fiscal policies that would establish the share of the gross national product accounted for by Federal outlays at the lowest level consistent with national needs and priorities. Prohibits Federal Government control of production, employment, allocation of resources, or wages and prices, except to the extent authorized under other Federal laws.

Establishes an order of four priorities for job creation: (1) conventional private jobs; (2) private employment through Federal assistance to priority programs; (3) conventional public employment programs; and (4) last-resort reservoirs of public and private nonprofit employment projects.

Amends the Employment Act of 1946 to direct the President in each annual Economic Report to set forth: (1) the current and foreseeable trends in the levels of employment, unemployment, production, capital formation, real income, Federal budget outlays and receipts, productivity, international trade and payments, prices, and a review and analysis of domestic and international developments affecting economic trends in the Nation; (2) annual numerical short-term goals for two years, and medium-term goals for the three succeeding years, for employment, unemployment, production, real income, productivity, and prices, consistent with achieving as rapidly as feasible the goals of full employment and production, increased real income, balanced growth, fiscal policies that would establish the share of an expanding gross national product accounted for by Federal outlays at the lowest level consistent with national needs and priorities, a balanced Federal budget, adequate productivity, growth, price stability, achievement of an improved trade balance, and proper attention to national priorities; (3) employment objectives for certain significant subgroups of the labor force, including youth, women, minorities, handicapped persons, veterans, and middle-aged and older persons; and (4) programs to carry out such policies.

Includes as interim goals in the first three Economic Reports after enactment: (1) the reduction of unemployment among individuals aged 20 and over to not more than three percent and among individuals aged 16 and over to not more than four percent; and (2) the reduction of inflation to not more than three percent, within five calendar years of the first Report. Provides that the policies and programs for reducing the rate of inflation shall be designed so as not to impede achievement of reducing unemployment. Provides that, upon achieving the specified goals, each succeeding Economic Report shall have the goals of achieving, as soon as practicable, and maintaining, full employment and a balanced budget, and zero percent inflation by 1988.

Directs the President, beginning with the second Economic Report after enactment: to review the numerical goals and timetable for the reduction of unemployment and inflation, and the goal of balancing the Federal budget; to report to the Congress on any obstacles to their achievement; and, if necessary, to propose corrective measures toward achievement of such goals and timetable. Permits the President, beginning with the second Economic Report, to recommend modification in such goals or timetable.

Declares that in taking action to reduce unemployment in accordance with the numerical goals and timetable, every effort shall be made to reduce those differences between the rates of unemployment among youth, women, minorities, handicapped persons, middle-aged and older persons, and other labor force groups and the overall rate of unemployment. Directs the Secretary of Labor, insofar as such differences are due to lack of training, to take action as practicable, make studies, develop information, and make recommendations toward remedying such differences in rates of unemployment, and to include these in the annual Employment and Training Report of the President required under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 (CETA).

Sets forth the contents of the Economic Report, including: (1) analyses of the major aspects of the appropriate composition or structure of short-term and medium-term goals for employment, production, real income, and prices; and (2) specific priority policies which shall include, to the extent deemed appropriate by the President, consideration of: (A) development of energy sources and a comprehensive national agricultural policy; (B) the problems and needs of smaller businesses; (C) the relationship between Federal policies and the needs of urban areas; (D) the quality and quantity of health care, education and training programs, child care, and other human services; (E) policies concerning Federal aid to State and local governments; (F) national defense; (G) the relationship between Federal grants and the closure of military bases and other facilities; (H) balancing the Federal budget; (I) the dislocation of jobs caused by Federal laws, regulations, and policies; (J) policies and programs designed to increase exports and improve the international competitive position of agriculture, business, and industry; and (K) other priority policies and programs as the President deems appropriate.

Requires that the President's Budget recommend levels of outlays and receipts which are consistent with the short-term economic goals for employment and unemployment, production, real income, productivity, and prices and provide five-year projections of outlays and receipts consistent with the medium-term goals of reducing the rate of unemployment and inflation.

States that the principal elements in the President's Budget shall be set forth briefly in the Report.

Directs the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to transmit, not later than February 20 and July 20 of each year, independent written reports setting forth: (1) a review and analysis of recent developments affecting national economic trends; (2) the objectives and plans of the Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee with respect to the ranges of growth or diminution of the monetary and credit aggregates; and (3) the relationship of these objectives and plans to the short-term goals in the most recent Economic Report and any short-term goals approved by Congress.

Requires the Board to include as part of its July 20 report its objectives and plans with respect to the ranges of growth or diminution of the monetary and credit aggregates for the calendar year following the year in which the report is submitted. Provides that the Board shall consult with the appropriate Congressional committees on these reports and that each committee shall report its views and recommendations to Congress.

Directs the President to initiate specific policies to reduce the rate of inflation, including recommendations to Congress where necessary and recommendations within the Economic Report where practicable. States that structural policies may include: (1) programs and policies for alleviating shortages of goods, services, labor, and capital, with particular emphasis on food, energy, and critical industrial materials to aid in stabilizing prices; (2) encouragement to labor and management to increase productivity within the national framework of full employment through voluntary arrangements in industries and economic sectors; (3) an effective information system to monitor and analyze inflationary trends in individual economic sectors; (4) removal or proper modification of such government restrictions and regulations as add unnecessarily to inflationary costs; (5) recommendations to increase competition in the private sector and to improve the economic climate for the creation and growth of smaller businesses, including the recommendations to strengthen and enforce the antitrust, patent, and internal revenue laws; (6) the establishment of stockpiles of agricultural commodities and other critical materials to help stablize prices, meet emergency needs, and promote adequate income to producers; (7) increasing exports and improving the international competitive position of agriculture, business, and industry; and (8) such other administrative actions and recommendations as the President deems desirable.

Directs the Council of Economic Advisers to assist the President in promoting full employment, to consult with such advisory board or boards as may be established, and to seek and obtain cooperation of executive and independent agencies in the development of essential specialized studies.

Allows the President to establish an advisory board or boards to advise and consult periodically with the President, the Council of Economic Advisers, and other departments and agencies of the executive branch of the Government. States that such advisory board or boards shall include representation of labor, small and larger businesses and industries, agriculture, consumers, State and local officials, and the public at large.

=Title II: Structural Economic Economic Policies and Programs, Including Treatment of Resource Restraints= - Directs the President to initiate, with recommendations to the Congress where necessary, supplementary programs and policies to accomplish the purposes of this Act.

Requires the President, in undertaking countercyclical efforts, to consider a mechanism which will implement programs during rising unemployment and phase out programs when unemployment is reduced, and to incorporate effective means to help individuals return promptly to regular private and public employment as the economy recovers.

Requires that the President set forth programs and policies to coordinate economic action among the Federal Government, regions, States and localities, and the private sector.

Provides for the initiation of regional and structural policies and programs, including encouraging new private sector production and employment to locate within depressed localities and regions with substantial unemployment. States that such policies and programs shall foster, to the extent feasible, the establishment and growth of smaller businesses, and that any regional employment proposal of the President shall include an analysis of, and correct where necessary, Federal tax, expenditure, defense, transportation, energy, natural resources and employment policies which have influenced the movement of people, jobs, and industry from chronic high unemployment regions and areas.

Directs the President to improve and expand existing youth employment programs, recommending legislation where required. Requires the President, through the Secretary of Labor, to develop policies and programs to provide job opportunities for individuals aged 16 and over who, despite a serious effort to obtain employment, remain unemployed.

States that the Secretary, after full utilization of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 and other relevant provisions of law, shall provide counseling, training, and other necessary support activities, refer persons to public and private job opportunities, and insure flexi-time and part-time jobs for persons who are able, willing, and seeking employment but who are unable to work a standard workweek.

Directs the President to provide job opportunities through reservoirs of federally operated public employment projects and approved private nonprofit employment projects to the extent that willing able individuals age 16 and over are not, and in the judgment of the President cannot be, provided with private job opportunities or job opportunities under other existing programs. Provides that such projects shall not be put into operation earlier than two years after enactment, and specifies other conditions which such programs must meet.

Requires the Economic Report to include: (1) an Investment Policy Report which shall, as appropriate (A) review and assess existing Federal programs and policies which affect business investment decisions; (B) assess the levels of investment capital available to and required by small, medium, and large businesses; (C) analyze current and foreseeable trends in the level of investment capital available to such businesses; and (D) describe programs and policies to carry out the purpose of the Act to rely principally on the private sector for expansion of economic activity; and (2) an assessment of the effect of the overall economic policy environment and the rate of inflation on business investment. Directs the President to recommend in the President's Budget, as appropriate, new programs or modifications in existing programs concerned with private capital formation.

=Title III: Policies and Procedures for Congressional Review= - Requires the Joint Economic Committee to review and analyze the short-term and medium-term goals set forth in the Economic Report. Directs the Committee to conduct hearings on the Report and allows each standing committee and other committees with jurisdiction to make recommendations to the Committee within 30 days after receipt by the Congress of the Economic Report. Requires a majority of the members of the Joint Economic Committee, on or before March 15 of each year, to submit to the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives and Senate a report which includes findings, recommendations, and analyses of the short-term and medium-term goals set forth in the Economic Report. Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to prescribe procedures for debate on the goals and policies of the Economic Report and for amendment of the first concurrent resolution of the budget. Establishes procedures for the modification of the numerical goals of the Economic Report.

=Title IV: General Provisions= - Makes general provisions with respect to nondiscrimination and labor standards.