A report published by Gallup, the global research company, on 8 August, indicated that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had the highest unemployment rate in 2012, 19% of the population.
“MENA had the highest unemployment rate of all regions in 2012, at 19%, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (15%) and the Balkans (14%),” the report said.
The report also stated that the MENA had a 29% underemployed rate, comprised either people in the workforce who are unemployed or people working part time who were seeking full time positions.
The research explained that 9% of the population are part timers, but that those people wanted full-time work.
Gallup said that 56% of the MENA population are not participating in the workforce. These are adults who are neither working nor actively looking for and available for employment.
The report concluded that this percentage, the highest percentage of all regions, can be attributed to MENA’s relatively low Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P).
The global research company explained 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.
“Young people in MENA also tend to be more likely to be out of the workforce than their counterparts in other regions, underscoring the challenges facing youth in the MENA region,” it added
Global unemployment in 2012 was 8%, unchanged from 2011, while underemployment increased slightly to 18%, from 17% in 2011.
The report mentioned that this decline reverses the upward trend in P2P measure since the height of the global recession in 2009.