Rather than a basic income scheme which has inherent drawbacks both economic (inflationary bias) and social (paying people the dole already creates friction even when unemployment is endemic) a universal jobs guarantee would in my view be a far preferable option.
Business cannot and will not sustain full employment over the business cycle, if ever. It is antithetical to their interests. Contrary to capitalist dogma, business' narrow interests involve shedding jobs and lowering wages. Business does not have any macro view or responsibility.
A job guarantee (JG) is an economic policy proposal aimed at providing a sustainable solution to the dual problems of inflation and unemployment. Its aim is to create full employment and price stability, by having the state promise to hire unemployed workers as an employer of last resort (ELR).
The economic policy stance currently dominant around the world uses unemployment as a policy tool to control inflation; when cost pressures rise, the standard monetary policy carried out by the monetary authority (central bank) tightens interest rates, creating a buffer stock of unemployed people, which reduces wage demands, and ultimately inflation. When inflationary expectations subside, these people will get their jobs back. In Marxian terms, the unemployed serve as a reserve army of labor. By contrast, in a job guarantee program, a buffer stock of employed people (employed in the job guarantee program) provides the same protection against inflation without the social costs of unemployment, hence potentially fulfilling the dual mandate of full employment and price stability.
The JG is based on a buffer stock principle whereby the public sector offers a fixed wage job to anyone willing and able to work thereby establishing and maintaining a buffer stock of employed workers. This buffer stock expands when private sector activity declines, and declines when private sector activity expands, much like today's unemployed buffer stocks.
The JG thus fulfils an absorption function to minimise the real costs associated with the flux of the private sector. When private sector employment declines, public sector employment will automatically react and increase its payrolls. So in a recession, the increase in public employment will increase net government spending, and stimulate aggregate demand and the economy. Conversely, in a boom, the decline of public sector employment and spending caused by workers leaving their JG jobs for higher paid private sector employment will lessen stimulation, so the JG functions as an automatic stabilizer controlling inflation. The nation always remains fully employed, with a changing mix between private and public sector employment. Since the JG wage is open to everyone, it will functionally become the national minimum wage.
Under the JG, people of working age who are not in full-time education and have less than 35 hours per week of paid employment would be entitled to the balance of 35 hours paid employment, undertaking work of public benefit at the minimum wage. The aim is to replace unemployment and underemployment with paid employment (up to the hours desired by workers), so that those who are at any point in time surplus to the requirements of the private sector (and mainstream public sector) can earn a reasonable living rather than suffer the indignity and insecurity of underemployment, poverty, and social exclusion.