AMMAN — Global trends that are expected to shape the future job market require increased efforts to keep up with socioeconomic and technological advancements, according to a recent report by the Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF).
The report “Is Jordan Ready for Future Jobs (2023-2027)?” outlines unemployment challenges in the Kingdom and provides a set of recommendations to build a better-prepared workforce.
The number of unemployed individuals in the Kingdom increased from 322,983 in 2018 to 419,837 in 2022.
The highest rate of unemployment in Jordan last year was recorded among youth between the ages of 20 to 24, at 32.7 per cent. Moreover, 42.2 per cent of unemployed Jordanians in 2022 were higher education graduates, according to the report.
Of those unemployed last year, 20.4 per cent had been out of a job for two or more years.
Readiness to adopt frontier technology
“Technological advancement plays a significant role in boosting productivity and economic growth as well as creating new and better job opportunities,” the report stated.
However, technology can have a “dangerous” impact on developing countries if misused or if they fail to keep up with its advancements, the report added.
The report also cited results from the Frontier Technology Readiness Index, issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) in 2023.
According to the data, Jordan’s rank declined 16 places, from 64th out of 166 countries in 2021 to 80th in the 2023 index.
The report described Jordan’s performance as “relatively weak” compared to other Arab countries.
Jordan ranked 16th among Arab countries, followed by Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Algeria and Egypt, all of which are dealing with either economic or political instability, the report said.
Anticipated labour-market churn
The report referenced the findings of the Future of Jobs Report 2023 issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which identifies technology adoption and digitalisation as drivers of both job creation and destruction.
The report predicts that 69 million jobs will be created and 83 million jobs will be eliminated within the next five years, corresponding to a 2 per cent reduction in employment, which is equivalent to 14 million jobs.
The WEF report is based on the perspectives of 803 companies, employing over 11.3 million workers across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies around the world.
Employers are anticipating a structural labour market churn of 23 per cent of all jobs in the next five years.
While AI and Machine Learning Specialists top the list of fastest-growing jobs, the majority of the declining roles include clerical or secretarial roles, according to the report.
The report stated that while only half of workers currently have access to adequate training opportunities, six in 10 workers are expected to require training before the year 2027
“Organisations identify skills gaps and an inability to attract talent as the key barriers preventing industry transformation, with 60 per cent of surveyed companies highlighting the difficulty in bridging skills gaps locally and 53 per cent identifying their inability to attract talent as the main barriers to transforming their business,” the report added.
The JSF’s report recommends developing educational curriculums to focus on cognitive skills which are reported to be quickly growing in importance. The report also encourages training students on the use of the latest technological tools to keep up with the fast advancements in the labour market.
It also suggested developing national employment policies and strategies in a manner that aligns with anticipated changes in the labour market.
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