Labour market transitions of young women and men in Jordan

Type Book
Title Labour market transitions of young women and men in Jordan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Publisher ILO
The population of Jordan is one of the youngest among countries in its income
category. The median age was 23.4 years in 2010 (UNDESA, 2012), when young people
aged 15–24 constituted 19.8 per cent of the total. The growth rate of the population
between 1981 and 2011 was an average of 5.6 per cent per year (ILO, 2013b), much higher
than the region’s average rate, and well above the world’s.
Youth unemployment represents a major issue for Jordan’s economy, politics and
society as a whole. Unemployment rates in the early stages of life affect the job prospects
across the working life span of young people (ILO, 2013a). Moreover, the high level of
unemployment among youth presents a source of social and psychological instability.
Hence, much political attention has been given to the employment of young people in
Jordan. The Government has been active in developing policies to promote youth
employment. As the challenges are many and cut across several policy dimensions,
measures should focus on both supply and demand, and be curative as well as preventative.
Emphasis is placed on education and training, job creation and entrepreneurship, inclusion
of youth in the labour market and institutional reform. The World Bank reckons that more
than 10 per cent of GDP has been spent in strengthening the country’s human resources
over the last three decades (World Bank, 2013).
Despite recognition by various employment-related policies of the importance of
improving school-to-work transitions, existing labour market information in Jordan cannot
adequately answer the questions of whether school-to-work transitions of young people are
a long and difficult process and if so, why. Answering these questions would go a long
way to improving the existing employment strategies and to better deal with problems
youth face as they transition from school to work. Recognizing this information gap, the
ILO undertook the school-to-work transition survey (SWTS) in Jordan. The SWTS covers
young people aged 15–29 and aims to generate information on the current labour market
situation, the history of economic activities and the perceptions and aspirations of youth. In
Jordan, the SWTS was commissioned in October 2012 to the Department of Statistics
(DOS). Data collection took place in January and February 2013 and targeted 5,405 youth.
This report presents the findings from the survey.

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