The labour contract no longer seems capable to assign an increasing number of people with a "place" in society (precariousness of situation), or to provide them with an adequate income (precariousness of subsistence). After pointing to the merits and limits of conventional causal interpretations of this malaise as well as associated remedies, a brief discussion of the socio-political consequences of this dual precariousness is offered. It is argued that policy-makers are faced with a basic choice between, on the one hand, attempting to reinvigorate the labour market as the core generator of social order (i.e. restoring "full" employment at whatever social and moral costs), or on the other neutralising the individual and social consequences of the declining absorption capacity of the labour market (i.e. making non-employment more tolerable). After exploring and evaluating existing forms of "negative" supply-side labour market policies, the paper concludes with a tentative proposal that calls for the introduction of a "sabbatical account" as a "withdrawal right" of citizenship.