Middle East 2

Joanne Faulkner,

Editor (Asia – Middle East and Central)


The youth unemployment challenge is no more present than in the Middle East. Youth unemployment averages 26% but spikes to well above 65% among certain demographic groups, according to the World Economic Forum.

High unemployment continues to plague the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a recently released International Monetary Fund report.

Governments in the Middle East have failed to produce the economic climate required to provide the region with the 100 million jobs it needs to challenge the poor economic growth and political uncertainty that is rife in the area.

Youth unemployment is currently one of the biggest problems; steadily rising over five years, with 24%  struggling to find work. This is an enormous pressure on the job market. Belaid Rettab, economic researcher and expert in the Sustainable Business Development Sector at Dubai Chamber, said:

‘We need to make sure that the youth that are graduating from the universities have the right skill sets and qualifications to match the market demands. Otherwise, there is bound to be a high rate of unemployment. There should be a system of re-qualification and vocational training for the youth, and students should be trained at the private sector just to give them an idea of what is required of them before they actually get a job.’

Economic recovery in the Middle East over the next few years will be a hard slog, and expectations of an impending economic recovery are relatively poor. Lack of entrepreneurship,  lack of funding and inadequate preparation for life after school has left  a wide skill gap and the region lagging far behind.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (Kobe Bryant)