Unemployment rates of Jordan’s youth ‘discouraging’ — JSF paper

Jordan scores 65.39 on the index, which leaves a lot to be desired

  
Image used for illustrative purpose only. Young entrepreneurs work on their laptops at the Amman-based Oasis 500, a seed investment firm which finances start-up firms in the region's information technology sector, November 2, 2011.REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Young entrepreneurs work on their laptops at the Amman-based Oasis 500, a seed investment firm which finances start-up firms in the region's information technology sector, November 2, 2011.REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN — A recent brief by the Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF) reported that the unemployment rates of Jordan’s youth were “particularly discouraging”.

The brief considers Jordan’s youth unemployment rates under UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number Eight, which seeks to, “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, according to a JSF policy brief, sent to The Jordan Times on Monday.

Jordan scores 65.39 on the index, which leaves a lot to be desired, according to the JSF Policy Brief.

With a score of 95.8 on the index, Norway tops the world while South Sudan ranks last.

The eighth UN SDG is out of 17 SDGs that reflect a call to action to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity”, according to the brief.

The 17 development goals involve 169 targets and 230 indicators.

To ensure sustainable progress in “human development”, the 2030 Agenda identifies the areas where action is needed, including the employment of youth (defined as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24).

“Unemployment rates among the youth (15 to 19 and 20 to 24 years old) in Jordan are particularly discouraging,” according to the JSF brief.

The report also found that Jordan’s percentage of the population aged 15-24 years old is relatively high.

“This indicates the importance of ‘youth empowerment, development and engagement’. Indeed, when equipped with sufficient skills, youth can use them to find suitable employment opportunities, earn a decent living, and contribute to economic growth and development,” said the brief.

On June 10, 2021, the Social Progress Imperative released the 2021 “Youth Progress Index” results. This index measures the quality of life of young people in more than 150 countries across the globe.

The Youth Progress Index score is the average of three dimensions: Basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity.

It is not encouraging to note that Jordan’s score has not improved. Indeed, Jordan’s rank decreased from 63rd in 2017 to 79th in 2020, the JSF said.

In the “opportunity” dimension of the youth progress index, Jordan’s score is low. At the regional level, Jordan ranks sixth.

The scores of all the Arab countries are poor in the “opportunity” dimension of the index, said the brief.

To improve Jordan’s score on the youth progress index, stakeholders should look into the areas where Jordan’s youth ranks poorly. These include affordable housing, political rights, freedom of expression, primary school enrollment, media censorship, access to online governance, mobile telephone subscriptions, and equality of political power by gender, according to the brief.

“It is clear that providing job opportunities and qualifying young people to enter the labour market are basic entry points to improve Jordan's ranking,” according to the JSF.

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