Crisis Beyond the Crises

MENA's Youth Unemployment Problem

Published in: Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development, Number 16 (Spring 2020), Pages 186–197

Posted on RAND.org on August 05, 2020

by Krishna B. Kumar

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Many countries in the Middle East have been suffering from the endemic disease of high youth unemployment, one of the main reasons behind the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. Since then the situation has not improved, and has actually worsened in some countries. Uneven education quality, including technical and vocational education that has not furthered employment prospects, excessive regulation and inflexible labor laws, and ineffective job matching have given rise to this ongoing problem. Addressing these shortcomings, and making job creation for youth a key strategy for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, is critical for the prosperity, stability, and security for the region.

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