The asset management firm Al Masah Capital published a report revealing that Oman and Bahrain have the highest unemployment rates than other Gulf countries.
The Great Job Rush
The Dubai-headquartered firm released ‘MENA: The Great Job Rush’, which described rates of 15% unemployment in each of the two Gulf states. In comparison, neighboring Qatar has an unemployment rate of 0.5%.
Saudi Arabia also revealed its own high unemployment rate of 10.8% while in the midst of a program of nationalization designed to help reduce this rate.
Kuwait’s jobless rate is also low, hovering at about 2.2%.
The report stated that “there is an urgent need for action.”
“Joblessness is a structural problem, particularly among the youth in the region. Short term solutions will not remove problems which took generations to fester. Deep structural changes are required, changes that go to the heart of cultural mentality.”
The MENA region has the highest unemployment rate in the world, with North Africa at 9.8% and the Middle East at 10.3%.
Youth Hit Hard
Saudi Arabia faces a serious unemployment problem among the young of the nation. The Kingdom’s youth are out of work at a rate double that of the global rate of jobless people, at 25.9% compared to 12.6% for the rest of the world.
A report of the World Bank published in 2003 predicted that the MENA region will need to create about 100 million new jobs during the 20 years between 2000 and 2020 in order to overcome a severe unemployment crisis.