September 25 2022 7:51 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Alarming figures

Maher Abu Tair
Maher Abu Tair (Photo: Jordan News)
Every time I speak to an official about a specific issue, they usually go to one of two excuses: the first is to blame it on regional instabilities, and the second is to say that all countries in the world have this issue, so it is not unique to Jordan.   اضافة اعلان

When you read figures from the World Bank, and they do not flatter nor attack anyone, you will be amazed. What is even more fascinating is the absence of public response in Jordan, as if they do not listen, despite knowing the reality, which could be even worse than what the World Bank figures show.

According to a report from the World Bank, the unemployment rate among people between the age of 15 and 24 stood at 50 percent by the end of 2020, a percentage that you will not see in many other countries.

This means that we are facing a social earthquake, where al excuses will be useless, be it blaming the influx of millions of Syrian refugees, the economic downturn, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or that the government is unable to provide jobs for collage educated people in that age group, among many other justifications.

This number might not be accurate for two reasons: the first is that it does not include the first six months of 2021, which means that the unemployment rate has risen, the second thing is that these numbers are blind, since it does not take into account hundreds of thousands who are working for less than JD300, and are considered employed, but their wages are divided into transportation, smoking, food, and communication, and these wages are not satisfactory to them as individuals, not to mention that some have families that need food, medicine, and education, among other necessities.

If we were to take a closer look at these numbers, we would find that the real unemployment rate is much higher, adding to that the number of people who are considered to be employed, they are no different than the unemployed, except for the fact that they leave their homes every day under the guise of jobs, the purpose of which is to make money for their employers. 

The main cause behind these issues is the Jordanian governments, as they left everything to collapse, overwhelming the private sector with taxation, fees and bills, which made it difficult for the private sector to create job opportunities. This is in addition to the government’s many appointments on the basis of nepotism and favoritism, which depleted the Treasury, and drove it into borrowing, and then splitting the debt bill between the unemployed or those who work low-paying jobs.  

Before we condemn the widespread bribery, corruption, theft, crime, violence, public anger, extremism, expressing opinions violently, and in some cases turning to terrorism, the collapse of the marriage institutions, high divorce rates, and drugs, we need to ask ourselves, what caused society to shift that steeply?  

The cause is the general sentiment of absence of justice and prospects, and the ongoing depletion of people’s lives with promises, rescheduling crises, and leaving all to their fate.

If we were a different country, then all government institutions would have mobilized to tackle this rate. We don not need the World Bank to diagnose the crisis, we are aware of it and see it everywhere, and inaccurate government numbers, putting the unemployment rate at 25 percent, an already dangerous and sensitive figure, fail hide it.  

Hunger is dangerous, and the lack of hope is even more dangerous, they result in a Jordan that we will not recognize, nor it will recognize us, where poverty and deprivation are prominent, and those who are accountable resort to silence, unable to ease the citizens’ pains.

If we were a different country, we would have declared a national emergency to save our human resource reserve, first and foremost.

Read more opinions