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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Rising living costs, unemployment biggest concerns for young Arabs

Rising living costs, unemployment biggest concerns for Arab youth: Economic pressure including higher cost of living and unemployment are the biggest concerns for young Arabs, according to the 2019 ASBA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey. Of the 3,300 18-24 year-olds surveyed across the region, 56% cited rising living costs as the biggest concern, while 45% pointed to unemployment and 31% cited slow economic growth.

Three-quarters of those surveyed in North Africa want the government to do more to bolster the economy, compared to only 39% in GCC states. The majority were in agreement that their governments have a responsibility to provide safety, education, healthcare, energy subsidies, jobs and housing to all citizens.

But reliance on the public sector for employment is not solving the problem, the IMF’s Jihad Azour writes in the report. An estimated 2.8 mn young people will join the workforce every year in the next 10 years, and yet unemployment remains extremely high (exceeding 30% in several countries). Looking to the public sector as source of jobs compounds the problem, undercutting education reform and the growth of the private sector, he says.

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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