Sinn Fein called for the adoption of an all-island job creation strategy, on 8 October 2012.
Phil Flanagan proposed the party's motion on the Path to Economic Recovery.
"Austerity is not working," he said.
Mr Flanagan said the policy had resulted in the return of emigration and soaring unemployment.
"What we need is a change of direction," he added.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA criticised both the Westminster and Dublin governments.
Simon Hamilton said the DUP amendment placed the problem in a wider context.
The SDLP's Patsy McGlone criticised the other parties for their lack of support for the European Union.
"It's good enough to take their money and look to them for investment," he commented.
He favoured setting up a commission to call for the devolution of extra powers from Westminster.
Sandra Overend of the UUP said they would support the motion as amended by the DUP.
Both amendments fell and the Sinn Fein motion was defeated by 46 votes to 43.