Jordan’s labor market: unprecedented challenges, 47% youth unemployment

Workers worker
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — On the occasion of International Decent Work Day, celebrated on October 7, the Jordanian Center for Labor Rights, known as "Workers' House," has released its annual report.اضافة اعلان

The report sheds light on the challenges confronting the Jordanian labor market, including a noticeable decline in the national economy's capacity to generate employment opportunities. Additionally, it highlights persistently high unemployment rates in recent years, an unprecedented situation in the country's history, Ammon News reported.

Decrease in economic participation
The report points out a significant decrease in economic participation, with only 33.4 percent of the working-age population engaging in economic activities. Youth unemployment has surged to 47.0 percent, attributed to various factors such as the annual influx of new job seekers, economic conditions, lack of investment, and the absence of programs aimed at helping young people transition from education to decent employment.

Long-term unemployment is a growing concern
Long-term unemployment has also become a growing concern, affecting 65.5 percent of jobseekers for more than 11 consecutive months. Females are disproportionately affected, with 72.3 percent of long-term unemployed individuals being women, compared to 62.7 percent of men. Furthermore, there are 195,489 jobseekers who have never had employment opportunities, with 45.2 percent of them being females.

This indicates that a significant portion of jobseekers possess skills and experience but struggle to find suitable job opportunities.

In terms of working conditions, the report reveals that 36.8 percent of workers in Jordan work more than 49 actual hours per week. Approximately 8.3 percent earn less than JD200 monthly, falling below the minimum wage, with a higher percentage among females at 14.4 percent. Overall, more than a third of workers earn less than or equal to the minimum wage, highlighting inadequate working conditions.

Despite a decision to raise the minimum wage to JD260 in February 2020, with gradual increases to match inflation, the government has not implemented these changes. This not only violates labor laws but also contradicts Article 23 of the Jordanian Constitution, which obliges the state to ensure fair wages for workers. Such practices also have adverse effects on the national economy, as they erode the purchasing power of the majority of citizens.

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