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Jobs and growth and stats and stuff

Jobs and growth and stats and stuff

The IMF has cut growth forecasts for the Middle East, while a UN report says joblessness in the region has dropped significantly. We’ve got issues.


January 26, 2011 3:29 by

It’s a good news, bad news type of day again. Mainly bad, if you ask Kipp, but then we’ve always been a glass half empty sort of site. Let’s start with the good news, shall we? Or at least, the supposed good news.

Unemployment is down in Dubai. That’s the headline, with a grab-you-by-the-throat figure of 19 percent thrown in for good measure by Gulf News. This is according to the Dubai Statistics Centre, which says that Dubai’s unemployment rate was 0.8 per cent in 2009, down 19 percent from 2008. Yes, you read it right, we are now discussing the jobless figures for a period ended more than a year ago. Dubai was a different place for most of ’09 (this was before Dubai World melt down), which is why Kipp calls this ‘supposed’ good news. Even if it was accurate and reflective of the current period, it doesn’t necessarily translate to good news; Dubai’s population is highly transient, and its residents are likely to leave if they can’t find jobs, thus ‘duking’ the stats.

Anyway, we’d be much happier with some more up to date figures. Unfortunately, that’s where the bad news comes in. new figures from the International Labour Organisation reveal that the region’s unemployment rate is the highest in the world. The ILO’s report, cunningly named Global Employment Trends 2011, said current estimates for 2010 show a 10.3 per cent level of unemployment in the region, with the youth unemployment rate almost four times the adult rate. The results are all on show in Tunisia, we think.

Monica Malik, Chief Economist at EFG-Hermes, said: “Across the region, the big issue facing economies and policymakers is how to create jobs and absorb new entrants into the market. This has been an underlying problem in the Middle East for quite some time; it is not something new and it is one of the biggest challenges facing the region.

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