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World Bank report, economists outline requirements for job creation

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Dec 09,2019 - Last updated at Dec 09,2019

AMMAN — The World Bank Group recently published the report "Job Diagnostics in Jordan", which covers the labour market in the Kingdom, Jordanian and expatriate human resources, stereotypes and gender roles, informal workers and women in the workforce.

The report, published on the World Bank Group’s website, states: "Although economic growth tends to be a necessary condition for job creation, it is not a sufficient one." 

Director of the Phenix Centre for Economics and Informatics Studies Ahmad Awad also stressed that other aspects beyond economic growth must be addressed to better utilise human resources.

The economist noted the importance of “organising the labour market in regards to Jordanian and expatriate workers, in addition to reconsidering certain education policies".

Unless education outcomes are harmonised with the needs of the labour market, the issue of employment will remain present, Awad told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.

The education system needs in-depth analysis in regards to the majors students are allowed to study, in addition to quality teaching, Awad said, noting that there are many graduates who are “incapable of doing jobs in their line of studies”.

There are also stereotypes that keep Jordanians from working in certain sectors, which can be addressed by amending and improving working conditions as well as ending "all types of discrimination between national and migrant workers", he added.

For his part, Economist Husam Ayesh said: “Economic growth on its own is indeed not enough for ending unemployment.”

He noted that one of the greatest problems in the way of growth is stereotypes that divide workers into certain sectors, assigning certain jobs to men and certain jobs to women, considering migrants for only certain jobs and even extending to age-related divisions. 

"This has created segments that can work only in certain places," Ayesh said, adding that the economy creates a maximum of 40,000 new jobs, which is “not enough” for the estimated annual 100,000 graduate influx to the labour market.

“Many people who invest a lot in their education find that even the available jobs and salaries are not enough to cover their daily needs, not to mention these jobs’ lack of stability, as they do not allow employees to stay long in their positions,” he said. 

The economist suggested pushing the labour market to clarify its requirements in order to tailor the education system to its needs, in addition to fixing working conditions and employing people in the right vacancies to fit their skills, among others.

Exploring full-time employment alternatives, such as freelancing, would also help, he said, in addition to providing jobs for all age groups, national and migrant workers and men and women without discrimination, which would allow more people to work in more fields and “stir the economy”. 

The World Bank report by Hernan Winkler and Alvaro Gonzalez also stated that, although women are paid a salary similar to men, there are still areas where women are paid salaries 15 per cent less than that of men with the same experience and education levels.

The report also noted that the “most significant reason” that women leave the labour market in Jordan is marriage, noting that the average age of marriage for women is 21.

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