Jordan’s jobless rate rose to a new high of 14.6% in the first quarter of the year from 13.6% in Q4 2015 and just 13% in the same quarter the year before, amid weak jobs creation in the construction and industrial sectors, the statistics office (DoS) said. Fierce illegal competition from Syrian refugees undertaking low-skilled jobs that Jordanian tend to avoid is also weighing on the index.
Lower seasonal hiring in Q1 also boosted the jobless rate.
Jordan is counting on the services sector and exports to boost its GDP growth and consequently jobs generation this year. The IMF forecasts the GDP growth to accelerate to 3.2% in 2016 from a weak 2.5% last year.
The unemployment rate among men grew to 12.7% in Q1 from 11.7% in Q4 last year while that among females increased to 23.7% from 23% in Q4 2015.
The bad news is that the jobless rate among people with high education spiked to 20.2% in Q1 from 17.6% in Q4 2015, translating into further exodus of skilled people towards the GCC where more than 600,000 Jordanian live and work.
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