Ministry’s plan to combat unemployment is short-sighted — experts

(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Economic experts believe that the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh’s plan to allocate JD80 million from the 2022 budget bill for a national employment program is a short-sighted and marginal. اضافة اعلان

The ministry is attempting to create 60,000 sustainable job opportunities during 2022 to combat the high unemployment rate amongst Jordanians, which stands at 23.2 percent.

Former Minister for State of Economic Affairs Yusuf Mansur told Jordan News that the current phenomenon of the high unemployment rate results from many previous economic issues. However, the ministry’s JD80 million allocations are insufficient to drive the economic wheel to create sustainable job opportunities.

“Unemployment is the result of failure almost everywhere,” Mansur said.

He explained that the current situation is a result of bad or short-sighted economic policies like focusing on the real estate and construction sector, which is a secure investment but does not create jobs.

Moreover, he pointed to the fact the public sector pays more than the market rate for low-quality training and below the market rate for high-quality training. Mansur also points to the export of educated and skilled workers to the Gulf countries since the 1970s as another example, in addition to high energy costs that impact production and the decrease foreign investment.

“Every boom that happened in Jordan went into real estate. So we’re missing the opportunity… there’s a responsibility upon the government,” he added.

Economic and Investment Specialist Wajdi Makhamreh also agrees that this critical issue results from the passive or ineffective government’s economic strategies over the years. He described the ministry’s plan as a short-termed marginal plan.

“The plan that is being put forward is a marginal one that will not fundamentally resolve the problem of unemployment. I am not sure how the plan will create 60,000 job opportunities; most probably salaries will be low and short-termed,” Makharmeh said.  “What matters is job sustainability, to have big projects, to take advantage of promising sectors that the government did not use,” he added.

He explained that the government should tackle issues like the increase in the number of graduates from saturated academic specializations, the lack of developed vocational training centers, limited support for entrepreneurial initiatives, and to end the taboo culture that stops Jordanians from working in low-paid jobs by increasing minimum wages to attract the youth.

“If this did not happen, any plan they do will be marginal and will not satisfy our needs. So what matters is sustainability; we do not want a short-term project, which once they are over, unemployment rate jumps again,” Makharmeh added.

Read more National news