Highest unemployment rate in Mena region
Jeddah, August 20, 2013
The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region had the highest unemployment rate across the world in 2012 at 19 per cent, said a report.
"Mena had the highest unemployment rate of all regions in 2012 at 19 per cent, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (15 per cent) and the Balkans (14 per cent)," said the Saudi Gazette report quoting global research company Gallup’s latest annual ‘Payroll to Population (P2P)’ survey.
While 28 per cent of the citizens in the region were underemployed, nine per cent were employed only on a part-time basis and seeking full-time jobs, it noted.
The lowest unemployment rates globally - at four per cent - were found in Europe (other than EU) and East Asia, while unemployment rates in the EU stood at 12 per cent.
Gallup said "Mena's relatively low P2P rate is partly attributable to the 56 per cent of the population not participating in the workforce, the highest percentage of all regions."
These are adults who are neither working nor actively looking for and available for employment, it said, explaining that many people in Mena, especially women, voluntarily choose not to work, reducing the number of people who are even interested in full-time employment.
The survey also found that the P2P rate (adult population employed full time for an employer) in the region last year stood at 18 per cent, compared to 42 per cent in the US, 33 per cent in the EU and 21 per cent in Southeast Asia.
Global unemployment in 2012 was 8 per cent, unchanged from 2011, while underemployment increased slightly to 18 per cent, from 17 per cent in 2011, the report added.