The concepts of job creation and job retention are an integral part of Keynesian economies and are practiced in many countries. The earliest application in the United States was as part of the New Deal during the Great Depression, when departments such as Civil Works Administration, Public Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and Works Progress Administration created thousands of jobs for the unemployed.
The most recent example is the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), to overcome high unemployment caused by the recession. This act aims to save and create jobs, cushion the economic downturn, and make crucial public investments. This law allows either payment or reimbursement of wages or salaries with the recovery act funding.
One example of a job creation and job retention initiative is the Job Creation and Retention Program (“JCRP") of the New York Economic Development Program that provides eligible companies with discretionary grants of up to $4,000 per full-time job for committing to create a minimum of 75 new jobs in Lower Manhattan and retain at least 200 Lower Manhattan jobs.
Franklin Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority during the Great Depression of the 1930s is a good example of direct government intervention for social entrepreneurship that helped create many jobs.