Our Youth Marginalised

Jumana Ghunaimat
Jumana Ghunaimat

The latest figures of Unemployment among the youth are terrifying.

A bulk of our workforce is suspended. They are suspended from the economic machine and have no means to even dream of a better future.

The figures issued by the department of statistics say that employment has scored the highest rates among youths of the age range 15-19 and 20-24, at 41.5 and 38.2 per cent, respectively.

The point is that unemployment is still on the rise.

In the end of the third quarter, last year, Q3-2016, unemployment stood at 18.5 per cent. Now, in the end of Q3-2017, unemployment rose another 0.5 per cent, to 19 per cent. It stood at 15.4 per cent among males and 30 per cent among females.

In terms of gender distribution, unemployment seems to have increased by 2 per cent among males, and decreased by 3.9 per cent among females, compared to Q2-2017.

The rate says a lot about the situation of our youth.

It says, clearly, that so many of our young men and women are still on margins of life, and it doesn’t seem that their agony is coming to an end any time soon. If anything, the economic situation is worsening and the problem is actually becoming more complicated.

Overall, unemployment as in issue is but outcome of public economic policy.  We are driving away investment with our inability to create an investment-friendly environment for all sorts of projects, and there is an abundance of instances.

Naturally, with the passage of time, unemployment increases where there is a decline in the supply of jobs. All the plans laid to waste, even the Europeans’ London Donors Conference, which was supposed to create jobs for Jordanians and Syrians, none of it was executed. As if the idea entire Conference was merely meant to numb us and suspend the flow of Syrian refugees into the Eurozone.

Meanwhile, everything we hoped for that our labour market restructuring efforts, to balance between the need of non-Jordanians and Jordanians for jobs, made no difference.

There are various explanations for why we were unable to make a difference. Societally speaking, there is a culture that prefers foreign labour over the domestic workforce.

Optimism is dropping. Hope that the issue of unemployment will recede is fading. Especially since we are witnessing the suffocation of the economy.

Meanwhile, we haven’t the capacity to expand our economic base to up our labour market to absorb the long line of unemployment. More so, there are some 70 thousand university graduates to enter the job market.

Stats indicate that unemployment among university graduates exceeds 23 per cent.

It is a complicated story in the capital, despite the concentration of economic and commercial activity. In the governorates, it’s even more tragic. Unemployment in Tafilah rose as high as 33.7 per cent, the other governorates are not better.

If anything, the vocational training platform is not enough to absorb the amount of unemployed youth. In the meantime, graduates with degrees in the fields of social sciences are lining up for jobs.

The problem with unemployment is that it costs us our demographic window.

Notably, a nation’s demographic window is defined as the time in a nation's demographic evolution when the proportion of population of working age group is particularly prominent.

اضافة اعلان

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.