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Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States Prepared by Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer Presented by Simel Esim Gender.

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Presentation on theme: "Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States Prepared by Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer Presented by Simel Esim Gender."— Presentation transcript:

1 Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States Prepared by Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer Presented by Simel Esim Gender and Women Workers Specialist ILO – Regional Office for Arab States, Beirut UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional Workshop Youth Policies & Strategies in the context of the MDGs Sanaa, Yemen, 22-23 June, 2005

2 Outline Youth employment trends and indicators –Global –Regional Policy responses to youth employment challenge

3 Youth-specific difficulties in transition from education to employment Lack of employment experience of youth Insider-outsider effects related to labour market Wage and job expectations of graduates: mismatch between aspirations & labour market realities Quality & relevance of education to labour market Constraints on self-employment & entrepreneurship development Lack of organization and voice among young women and men (where are young members of workers and employers associations?)

4 Youth statistics-- cross-country differences I Activity rates of: –youth (15 – 24) declined from 70.1% in 1950 to 59.2% in 2000 –adults (25-64) increased from 72.5% to 78.5% Mainly a result of growing participation of youth in education, so young people are expected to be better educated and potentially more productive than workers in other age groups Activity rates of young men much higher than those of young females but converging (in 1950 the gender gap was 29.2 percent points, in 2000 14.9 percent points)

5 Youth statistics – cross-country differences II Activity rates of young people differ by region – the lowest in Europe, followed by Latin America and Northern America, the highest in Asia, Africa and Oceania Unemployment rates of youth consistently higher than the adult unemployment rates, in most countries between 2 and 4 times In most countries in the world, young women have higher unemployment rates than young men

6 CountryYearYouth UR in % Youth UR to adult UR Ratio of youth U in total U % Austria20015.51.720.1 Bangladesh200010.711.979.4 Brazil200117.93.748.6 Chile200118.83.031.7 Czech Republic200216.02.624.9 France200220.22.619.8 Germany20029.71.113.0 United States200212.02.632.0 Algeria1992n.a. 65.7 Bahrain2000n.a. 60.7 Egypt199920.44.959.5 Morocco199915.41.638.2 UAE2000n.a. 47.0 West Bank and Gaza2001n.a. 35.1 Yemen1999n.a. 48.4

7 Arab Regional Economic Context Variable, but generally sluggish economic growth Labour force growth is higher than both GDP growth & jobs created Unemployment is acute amongst youth, especially young women Creeping poverty across the region even beyond the countries affected by conflict Nationalization of workforces in the Gulf with implications for young migrant workers in region

8 High Unemployment for youth Around 12.5 million unemployed, coupled with high underemployment Highest (and increasing) unemployment rates in the world, especially for youth 2.5 million new youth entrants to the labour market annually, expected to rise to 3 million during 2000- 2010 – need to create jobs for these new entrants just to maintain current unemployment levels Youth unemployment rates are much higher than adult unemployment rates, averaging 25.6 % in 2003 (cf. 21.0% in Sub-Saharan Africa)

9 Gender Gap in Employment Average female unemployment rate of 16.5 % was 5.9 % points higher than the male rate of 10.6 % in 2003 Unemployment for young women in MENA countries ranges from 13 % in Bahrain to almost 39 % in Algeria Unemployed women are mainly: – young new labour force entrants (with primary & secondary education) –laid off workers following restructuring and privatization - in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt

10 Yemen High population growth & fertility rates Of the 18.5 million, 42% live in poverty Estimated growth of civilian non- institutional labour force is: –3.8% total –3.3% male –5.3% female Youth unemployment is double that of adults –18.7% as compared to 8.4% in 1999 –estimated between 27.7 % and 32.6% in 2005

11 A comprehensive employment policy that is inclusive of youth Such policy must be based on reliable economic and labour market analysis identifying potentials and challenges for young people (requires LMIS) Appropriate measures, on both the supply and demand side of the labour market, need to be applied & monitored Policy and programs need to be better tailored toward: –enhancing employability –promoting employment –improving social security of young people Employment policy and programs need to be undertaken in partnership between governments, social partners, youth organizations and other NGOs (with support where appropriate from international organizations)

12 Targeted Active Labour Market Policies for Young Women & Men Well functioning employment services Re-skilling of work force: –bridging the skills gap to match labour supply with demand –linking training programs with employment Entrepreneurship training in basic business skills, especially for young women and men Employment subsidies for disadvantaged youth (school drop outs, vulnerable youth, youth with disabilities, etc.)

13 Young Migrant Workers Admitting the reality of migration in receiving countries: defining a clear and realistic strategy and policy for migration, shifting emphasis from quantity to quality of expatriates Initiating and developing a consultative process between sending and receiving countries, based on mutual respect and benefit More active role for workers organizations to defend migrant workers rights Public and media awareness on migrant workers rights

14 Additional Policy Responses Promotion of intra-regional mobility Improving labour market information systems Policy integration (social, economic, poverty and employment policies) Cooperation with private employment agencies and training providers Incentives for employers to hire young people (subsidies; annual recognition ceremonies) Promoting self-employment/entrepreneurship – changing attitudes & creating an enabling legislative/regulatory environment Engaging in meaningful dialogue with social partners

15 Critical factors for youth employment policies to work Sustainable economic growth through diversification Fair wages, rights and decent conditions for young people, particularly unskilled workers Improved quality of education and training Increased womens economic participation Improved work organization; more proactive involvement of social partners in policy develpmnt Promoting access to youth friendly reproductive health policies, programs and services

16 THANK YOU! FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESENTATION CONTACT Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer ILO – Regional Office for Arab States, Beirut

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