Tackling Youth Unemployment in the Maghreb

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Youth unemployment across North Africa is one of the highest in the world. The paper, Tackling Youth Unemployment in the Maghreb, identifies the main causes and gauges the extent of youth unemployment in the Maghreb. It also assesses initiatives taken to address the problem and proposes options for policy makers.

Focusing on Algeria Morocco and Tunisia, the paper explores the constraints to job creation in the region and assesses the public sector’s role in targeting youth unemployment. It explains, for instance, that although the youth bulge has played a role in the rise of unemployment, it in itself is not to blame for this rise. Rather, the problem in the Maghreb is that jobs have not been created quickly enough to absorb the growing youth population, and the level of human capital being produced does not adequately match the needs of the labour market. Similarly, a lack of access to quality education has created a miss-match between the needs of the labour market and the supply available.

Tackling youth unemployment is crucial to overcome poverty, restore political and social stability, and for fuelling sustainable economic development in the Maghreb. By providing positive examples from other regions, the paper is able to provide a number of policy recommendations that address both the supply and demand side constraints fuelling unemployment in the region.