A senior minister must be empowered to drive the jobs agenda across government, a business group has said.
The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) demanded the welfare system be overhauled to incentivise work within the first 100 days of the new government, with commitments made to keep the minimum wage at 7.65 euro an hour.
A property tax must also be introduced to fund local authority services so commercial rates can be cut, it said.
Ibec director general Danny McCoy said its jobs manifesto for Election 2011 sets out how a new government should tackle the unemployment crisis and restore domestic and international confidence.
"The most important task facing the next government is getting people back to work," said Mr McCoy.
"Every decision must take into account the impact on jobs. The right policies will help restore our economic fortunes, but the wrong ones will prolong the economic pain."
Ibec's plans include getting credit flowing to business by introducing a loan guarantee scheme, enhancing Ireland's attractiveness for inward investment and auditing planned infrastructure projects.
Mr McCoy said a new government must reform how the country and the economy is governed.
"The economic crisis demands an overhaul of the welfare system and labour market rules, major reform of the public sector, and a definitive solution to the banking crisis," he said.
Elsewhere, Ibec's quarterly economic trends for 2011 forecast projected GDP growth of 1.8% this year, but suggested GNP recovery will be more muted.