Comments on Cassandra Wilkinson “Mollycoddling jobless is not compassionate”, 24/05/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/mollycoddling-jobless-is-not-compassionate/story-e6frgd0x-1226061416518
While incentives are important themselves, they are not enough.
The government, society, the employers and the unemployed need to tackle this holistically.
The Australia's employment system can be very strange in some respects. For example, many employers require employment experience even for the most basic labour work.
Maybe that reflects some inherent deficiencies in the work relations system that may prevent flexibility because of some explicit or implicit/hidden costs in hiring and firing.
It has been reported over and over again that people work to work but just could not be accepted by any employers. Some are in perfect working age.
So, simply taking about incentives will not solve the problem. The government must look at the issues from those who are unemployed or on welfares and then design policies/strategies, and also put in place the real assistance available to those who need it or in need of it. Work in partnership with them.
PS: If people who want to find a job very actively can't get one, it is no wonder many on welfare can't get employment, or get off from the welfare system.