Jordan's unemployment rate hits 13.1 percent

Published January 8th, 2012 - 07:24 GMT
Jordan king
Jordan king

According to data released by the Jordanian Department of Statistic, unemployment for the kingdom averaged 13.1 percent for 2011. Unemployment disproportionately affected the young, the university educated, and women. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified the data from Jordan as part of a large employment trend in the Arab world. Unemployment for the last quarter of 2011 was 12.1 percent, compared to 11.8 percent for the same period of the previous year.

Unemployment figures varied widely by governorate and by demographic group. The rate was highest in the Karak governorate, at 18.8 percent, and lowest in Aqaba at 9.6 percent. Women were more likely than men to be unemployed, with 10.7 percent of men and 18.3 percent of women looking for work. Among graduates of higher education, two-thirds of the jobless were women. Holders of university degrees face a 15.5 percent higher unemployment rate.

The young were the most affected by unemployment. 34.4 percent of the 15-19 age group and 27.2 percent of the 20-24 age group were unemployed, the highest rates for any age cohort. This is a common problem in the Middle East, where unemployment for those between 15 and 24 years of age is as high as 60 percent in countries such as Yemen, Egypt and Morocco. According to the IMF, the reasons for this trend include the high percentage of young people as part of the general population, as well as strict hiring and firing rules that lead to a mismatch between the skills required for a position and the skills younger candidates possess. (Source:

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