Analysts have said that until deeper reforms regarding the economy can kick it, micro loans, job training and helping to establish businesses is a way to fix the Middle East’s huge unemployment problem.
One of the causes of high unemployment with youths in the region is the gap between what is being taught to students in schools and universities versus the skills that are needed by employers.
In Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia and other countries, the largest employer has for a long period been the government, which offered better wages and strong job security, than the private sectors that have been underdeveloped. Universities have served to fill the civil service putting an emphasis on giving out certificates rather than a specific skill set, while the ones with just a high school education or below became laborers or shopkeepers.
However, due to a population explosion too many applicants for too few jobs in the civil service along with not enough skilled workers resulted.
In Jordan, there are close to 40,000 new college graduates each year and high school dropouts that reach over 60,000 annually compete for work in unskilled jobs.
For a large number of people who do not have employment especially those who are college graduates and other professionals, emigration is their only option. One in six Jordanians work in of Gulf countries at are oil rich.
Arab Spring forced governments in the region to get serious about reforms and economists across the board have similar prescriptions for the creation of jobs: fewer bureaucrats, a labor market that is more flexible, less red tape to hamper private businesses, more skills teaching and infrastructure projects that are job-intensive.