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Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States

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Presentation on theme: "Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States"— Presentation transcript:

1 Labour Markets & Youth Employment in the Arab States
Prepared by Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer ILO – Regional Office for Arab States, Beirut Presented by Joop Theunissen UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional Workshop Youth Policies & Strategies in the context of the MDGs Rabat, Morocco, 6-8 July 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% in 1950 to 59% in 2000 adults (25-64) increased from 73% to 79% Growing participation of youth in education 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 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 Country Year Youth UR in % Youth UR to adult UR Ratio of youth U in total U % Algeria 1992 n.a. 65.7 Bahrain 2000 60.7 Egypt 1999 20.4 4.9 59.5 Morocco 15.4 1.6 38.2 UAE 47.0 West Bank and Gaza 2001 35.1 Yemen 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 Increased restrictions on labour markets in EU

8 High Unemployment for Arab 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 – 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 Arab 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 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) Policy and programs need to be better tailored toward: enhancing employability promoting employment improving social security of young people Partnerships!

11 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.)

12 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

Tariq A. Haq Employment Development and Strategies Officer ILO – Regional Office for Arab States, Beirut

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