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Jordan Labour Watch urges gov't to reconsider economic, education policies

By JT - Aug 13,2022 - Last updated at Aug 13,2022

The unemployment rate in the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2022 stood at 22.8 per cent, according to the Jordan Labour Watch (File photo)

AMMAN — The Jordan Labour Watch (JLW), affiliated with the Phenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies, on Saturday called on the government to reconsider economic and educational policies in force, which narrowed the economic choices for young men and women.

The JLW issued the statement on International Youth Day, which annually falls on August 12.

In the statement, the JLW highlighted challenges facing young people despite the diminishing effects of the spread of the coronavirus, which increased unemployment rates among the youth group, reaching unprecedented levels in Jordan and the world.

The statement indicated that the unemployment rate in the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2022 stood at 22.8 per cent.

Among young people, aged 15-24, the unemployment rate reached 47.7 per cent.

For males, the unemployment rate hit 44.2 per cent, compared with 63.9 per cent for females.

“The continued application of contractionary fiscal policies and unjust tax policies have weakened Jordan’s economic capabilities to generate new job opportunities, due to the slow Jordanian economic growth over the past decade,” the report added.

Annually, about 120,000 job seekers aim to enter the labour market, while the Jordanian economy, with its public and private sectors, is capable of generating no more than 40,000 new job opportunities a year.

 The expansion of academic university education three decades ago at the expense of technical and vocational intermediate education, created structural distortions in the labour market and contributed to the increase in unemployment rates, the statement indicated.

The decline in the quality of education, in terms of its reliance on memorisation, neglecting innovative educational curricula that develop the knowledge and analytical capabilities of students, resulted in a sharp decline in the number of graduates who possess knowledge and skills required in the labour market, the statement said.

The majority of workers in the private sector suffer from unsuitable work conditions, with decreasing average wages, despite successive rises in prices.

Such challenges, which require careful reconsideration, came as a culmination of a number of economic decisions and policies that have been implemented in Jordan over the past decades.

Local and international polls indicate that the majority of Jordanian youth seek to emigrate, the statement noted.

The statement expected that the non-social economic policies under which work is carried out according to the Economic Priorities Programme, such as the abolition of the Ministry of Labour and the weakening of social protections for young people within the framework of social security, will contribute to deteriorating work conditions.  

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