Beirut, 19 August 2021--The Arab region registers the highest levels of unemployment worldwide, especially among women and young people, with 14.3 million individuals already unemployed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reality puts into question the capacity of Arab labour markets, and particularly the formal sector, to generate equitable and sufficient employment, as underscored by a report issued today by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA ILO
of gender equality in Arab labour markets, illustrated by women's lower shares as business owners and the generally few top management positions they hold.
“We must challenge gender-discriminatory perceptions in labour markets so that women can evolve in their careers and capitalize on their increased levels of education,” she affirmed.
labour market deficits in the region, especially those affecting the most vulnerable workers
The impact of the crisis has been particularly devastating for youth, persons with disabilities, women, informal workers, migrants and refugees. It is fundamentally important that we develop an action-oriented roadmap to advance a human-centred recovery, and construct a better future that delivers economic security, equal opportunity and social justice,
reduction of wages and/or hours of work.
training systems and educational curricula are not in line with the needs of the labour market, leading to a significant skill mismatch. In fact, 40% of firm owners claim that the inadequately educated work force is an obstacle in the region.
The report also points to contradictions between policy discourse and labour market realities. While policymakers constantly advocate the role of small enterprises in creating jobs, they have the lowest employment growth rate in the region among enterprises, standing at 1% annually.
impairing enterprise performance, affecting investor and consumer confidence and subsequently limiting investment and consumption.
“With the right mix of policies, the right coordination frameworks and the effective involvement of workers’ and employers’ representatives, we can ensure a successful recovery and an effective transition towards a more inclusive future of work,” Jaradat said.
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
About the International Labour Organization Regional Office for Arab States
As a specialised United Nations agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) works to promote social justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights. As the only tripartite UN agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers to promote decent work in different parts of the world, as well as develop labour standards and policies.
For more information:
- Ms. Salwa Kanaana, Regional Communication and Public Information Officer, +961-71-505958; email: email@example.com