Unemployment and Labor Market Participation of UAE Youth

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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. The objective of this paper is to link the overall labor-market experience of Emirati youth to the main characteristics of the UAE labor market. The source of data is the 2009 round of the UAE Labor Force Sample Survey (LFS).1 The focus will be on the determinants of youth unemployment and labor market participation. The analysis is conducted along key characteristics such as gender, marital status, education, and region of residency, frequently comparing the youth experience to that of older workers. Section 1 of the paper examines youth participation whereas Section 2 addresses unemployment. In Section 3, a probit model of the probabilities of participation and unemployment is estimated, in which the the determinants discussed in sections 1 and 2 are jointly assessed. Section 4 focuses on the role of incentives and other qualitative features that seem to strongly influence youth unemployment. Section 5 concludes.


Samer Kherfi

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