Labour demand and social dialogue: Two binding constraints for decent work for youth in the Arab Region

EMPLOYMENT Working Paper No. 164

This paper by Zafiris Tzannatos, former Senior Employment Specialist of the ILO, argues that the main reason for the persistently high youth unemployment rates in the Middle East and North Africa has not been slow economic or “jobless” growth. Economic and employment growth in the decade until 2008 – but also since the outbreak of the recent financial crisis –were high. The author identifies slow productivity growth together with limited creation of quality jobs as main constraints to better youth employment outcomes in the region. All in all, it was more the demand for rather than the supply of labour that acted as a constraint.