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Will the Oil Boom Solve the Middle East Unemployment Crisis ?

Published on: November 2006​
Genre: Category: Policy Brief/ Policy Note​

During the recent oil boom, the MENA region has seen job creation accelerate. Given favorable economic prospects going forward, the region could see unemployment decline to nearly 7 percent by 2010. But this positive forecast depends on the region’s ability to continue creating jobs at current rates. Achieving this will prove difficult, especially since MENA economies are still marked by high labor market rigidities and the public sector continues to play a dominant role in these economies. Moreover, positive labor outcomes do not apply uniformly across MENA. Many non-oil economies have seen unemployment increase in recent years. While oil producers may have the choice to manage job creation on the back of oil revenues, other countries have few choices but to press forward on reforms.
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