Not surprising, and it does offer insight into why recruiting people to blow themselves up is so (apparently) easy.
ARAB COUNTRIES HAVE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN WORLD***
(ANSAmed) – DUBAI, JANUARY 26 – The Middle East is the region with the highest rate of unemployment in the world, confirmed the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which reports that unemployment in the region is 10.3% compared to 6.2% on average globally. The situation presented in “Global Employment Trends 2011″ is even more dramatic when looking at the young segment of the population up to the age of 25, where the unemployment rate is estimated to be 40%. The data published by the UN agency raised a further alarm for a region that has already been observing popular insurrection and protests with cries for “more bread, more work” in recent weeks.
A situation that is undermining and disrupting decades of immobile balances of power. “It is quite clear that an unequal distribution of wealth and the absence of opportunities are an explosive combination for social disorders,” commented the co-author of the report, Duncan Campbell, who did not indicate a positive immediate future for the MENA region. Economic growth in the entire area is forecast to be between 4.5% and 5.1% between 2010 and 2012, but it does not seem destined to translate into actual jobs. While the IMF already predicted a “strong recovery for the job markets in Europe and the United States,” the Middle East still has to work on structural factors capable of changing their dynamics. The priority, both for oil-producing countries and those that do not have energy reserves, is to absorb an already high number of young people ready to enter onto the job market, a figure that continues to grow on a yearly basis. An urgent situation that even Queen Rania of Jordan had stressed in 2008, labelling it “a ticking time bomb”. However, the challenge lies in the ability of the governments to create industrial and economic sectors that allow for this absorption and to devise an educational system capable of training new generations in line with market requests, explained Campell. An old problem in the economic-social debates in the region, which also includes the rich economies in the Gulf Region, is that they are not diversified enough and that they are too dependent on hydrocarbons and have schools that offer inadequate programmes when compared to the new needs in the labour market. In Saudi Arabia, the youth unemployment rate in 2009 was over 30%. Other areas that need to be assisted with large investments, according to ILO analysts, include SMEs and the private sector. In the initial days of the riots in Tunisia, during the summit at Sharm al Sheikh, the Arab countries earmarked 2 billion dollars to put an end to the problems of tens of millions of people, a figure and policy that analysts call insufficient and inadequate to favour the necessary growth and economic reforms.