Unemployment falls 2.2% in Q1 — report

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AMMAN — According to a Department of Statistics report, Jordan’s unemployment rate in the first quarter of this year was 2.2 percent lower than that in the first quarter of last year, reaching 22.8 percent, 0.5 percent lower than the figure for the entire last year.اضافة اعلان

The unemployment rate among men in the first quarter of 2022 stood at 20.5 percent, 3.7 percentage points less than the comparison period last year, while among women, unemployment stood at 31.5 percent in the same period, a 3 percentage point increase over the first quarter of last year.

Economic expert Jawad Anani said the unemployment rate decreased because job opportunities were created as Jordan started to recover from the pandemic, during which strict measures were taken, affecting the economy and daily livelihoods, “despite the government providing assistance from Social Security and the Central Bank for workers and employers”.

Some large and medium-size industries laid off a large number of workers who were registered as unemployed; when the process of recovery started, “they got new jobs, which contributed to the reduction of the unemployment rate”, said Anani.

While 2021 recorded the highest unemployment rate, this year saw a slight decline due to the revival of the tourism sector, which helped revitalize economic activity, and due to the creation of new jobs, especially in the food and agriculture fields, he added.

“This decline is good, and we hope that in the second quarter of the year the unemployment rate will decrease further,” said Anani.

The head of the Workers’ House, Hamada Abu Nijmeh, said that the decrease in unemployment so far this year compared to the last quarter of last year by half a percentage point “is a good indicator, but it is not sufficient, and needs to decline by at least 5 percentage points to return to pre-pandemic levels”.

According to Abu Nijmeh, there is low demand for jobs these days; he attributes this to the fact that most available jobs are unattractive due to the low wages and absence of safety, and rarely suit the specializations of job seekers, the majority of whom hold university degrees.

In economist Mazen Irsheid’s view, the decrease in unemployment rate is slight, and “unemployment is still above 20 percent”. He attributed the reason for the decline to various economic sectors returning to work post COVID, and “not because new jobs were created”.

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