The categorical imperative applies in a few levels of economics.

The person who thinks 'getting a job' is the answer to all problems clearly should have a job - or be pounding pavement looking for one, themselves - before saying so. Thinking that a particular moral principle should be universal must compel the moral believer to adhere to that same principle, according to Kant's Cat. Imp. That's one of the primary values of the notion; put up or shut up.

The only time jobs aren't available is when there has been economic malinvestment, most often caused by infringements upon the free market. The primary causes of malinvestment ( taxes, inflating the money supply, and fiat interest rates) are controlled by agents of the governments of the various nations, but according to Kant, these agents are acting as if everyone should have control of these things, which is, of course, impossible. Conversely, Kant is telling us that no one should control them.

Second, many people believe that those who cannot support themselves should receive help. Fortunately, there are many millions of people who believe everyone should help each other, and because they believe that, they help others. Perhaps they are responding to the Categorical Imperative?

Charity organizations and funds also suffer when malinvestment occurs, as malinvestment wastes wealth, so a population engaging in it has less help to offer, regardless of how the needy are recognized or selected.