Youth Employment in the Wake of the Financial and Economic Crisis

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Youth Employment in the Wake of the Financial and Economic Crisis: Structural Trends and Policy Issues in Selected Arab Countries - 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 Paper will investigate the effects of the financial crisis on the labor markets around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with specific attention being paid to the impact on youth and youth employment. The effects on youth employment, a precarious labor market segment before the crisis, are of utmost concern to researchers as the youth represent such a large segment of the global population, and an even larger segment of the MENA population. MENA youth comprise seven percent of the global youth composition; the subregion of the Middle East comprises four percent and the subregion of North Africa comprises three percent. ILO forecasts estimate this total share to remain constant through 2015; however, the Middle East will decrease to 3 percent while North Africa increases to four percent (ILO, 2010b). This should indicate some easing for the Middle East on youth pressures, but indicates a potentially worsening situation for North Africa. In what follows, we will present a regional overview of the phenomena of youth exclusion as well as an initial assessment of the ramification of the financial crisis on youth labor markets in MENA; followed by country specific profiles of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates; The Paper will then present an analysis of existing government initiatives that have been established to aid in domestic recovery from the crisis in the region, followed by further policy recommendations that should be implemented to continue in the recovery process; and finally, concluding remarks will be made on the short, medium and long term effects and policy requirements as the region recovers from the current financial downturn.


Mona Said

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