Youth Unemployment in the South of the Mediterranean: A Chronic Challenge to Development and Stability

January 2022


This paper focuses on youth unemployment on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, which has become a major challenge and a manifestation of deeply-rooted problems of the region’s labour markets. The paper aims to provide policy recommendations to address this chronic problem in the region and focuses mainly on Southern Mediterranean countries in North Africa: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It first explores prominent implications of low employment among the youth, for their own lives and their societies.

It then proceeds to examine the magnitude of the problem in the selected countries and its development across the last three decades, relying mostly on ILO estimates. Next, the paper highlights the now-established explanation of the youth employment problem in the region and how it developed, before finally moving to the recommended policy measures, both domestic and through regional cooperation, to address this chronic problem that has played a major role in the radical political and social shocks in the region in the last decade.



Photo: Unemployed people line up to get a password for participation in a job opportunities event in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
circle graphic