The Structure and Evolution of Employment in Jordan

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This Discussion Paper has been presented as a part of the workshop called The Social-Economic Situation of Middle East Youth on the Eve of the Arab Spring, hosted on December 8-9th, 2012 at the American University in Beirut. In this paper we use a new and original data set, the Jordan Labor Market Panel survey of 2010 (JLMPS 2010) to study changes in the structure and evolution of employment in Jordan over the past quarter century. Although, this is only the first wave of what is to be a longitudinal survey, it is possible to ascertain dynamic trends through detailed retrospective questions that allow us to reconstruct the employment trajectories of individuals who have ever been employed. Because this data can portray flows into the labor market and then follow the new entrants several years into their careers, they are able to highlight changes in trends much more precisely that regular quarterly labor force survey data that simply look at stocks of workers in different segments of the labor market at different points in time. The data is also offer additional important advantages over the regular quarterly surveys in their ability to identify informal employment in its various guises, including wage and salary employment without contracts or social insurance and self-employment and unpaid family employment.


Ragui Assaad

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