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The MENA region is setting the wrong sort of employment records: youth unemployment is the world’s highest, and female participation the lowest.
The UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), in its World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2015, released 20 January, says the Middle East and North Africa have the highest unemployment rates of any global region.
The rate for North Africa was 12.5% for 2014, and that for the Middle East 11%, both higher even than the crisis-hit EU (10.2%). Both are set to stay top of the rankings out to 2017, according to the ILO’s projections (see graph).
The ILO blames “tepid” MENA economic growth of 2.6% for 2014, due to “difficult political transitions, security challenges and rising regional conflicts,” for the lack of jobs. Though the ILO projects that growth will edge up to 3.8% for 2015, this “will not be sufficient to reduce the persistently high unemployment rates.”
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