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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

“The skill sets produced by education systems do not meet private sector requirements, which in some cases reflects the high level of expatriate workforce.”

Meanwhile, gender inequality in the region persists, of course, with the gap between men and women in employment being double the global average, at 47.2 percentage points.

All this grim news comes along as the IMF cuts growth forecasts for the region. In its latest World Economic outlook, the IMF revises downwards its growth predictions for MENA to 4.6 percent in 2011, and 4.7 percent in 2012. For this year, that’s 0.5 percent down, and for next year its 0.1 percent down. This is on the back of revising global growth upwards by 0.2 percent, to 4.4 percent. The downward revision in growth is not much, of course. But nowadays, every little hurts.

Growth of 4.6 percent may not exactly qualify as bad news, but the unemployment numbers are. They confirm what we all knew or suspected, and what the spreading Tunisian crisis demonstrates: There are a lot of young people out there who want to work with no opportunities. If their chances aren’t improved, they will get angry about it.

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