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The MENA region records highest youth unemployment rate in the world

The Middle East and North Africa region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had the highest youth unemployment rate in the world in 2019, according to data published by the World Bank.

While Qatar has recorded the lowest youth unemployment rate globally at only 0.4 per cent with its oil rich economy, strong labour force and the 2022 World Cup on the horizon, the MENA region also accounted for some of the highest rates worldwide in 2019.

War-torn Libya suffered the worst rate in the region and registered as second highest in the world, with 50 per cent of the North African country’s youth unable to find or maintain jobs. The country’s political instability and ongoing civil war have harmed its economic development, severely affecting the job market.

With 42 per cent out of work, the occupied Palestinian territories have the second worst rate for youth employment in the region. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its tight siege on the Gaza Strip have inhibited economic development, as Palestinians are left with limited control over their resources, borders and trade activity. In contrast, Israel’s youth unemployment stands at just seven per cent.

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