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Youth Unemployment: The Middle East's Ticking Time Bomb

Feb 28, 2018 | 16:33 GMT
Five million workers are set to enter the Middle East's job market each year, even as gainful employment is in short supply.

An Iraqi man works at a brick factory near the central Iraqi shrine city of Najaf during May 2017.

(HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Dubai hosted the World Government Summit, welcoming dignitaries from around the world for talks on global happiness. But amid all the discussions of evermore contented societies lurked a more pressing issue right on the Emiratis' doorstep: the prospect that 5 million workers are set to enter the Middle East's job market each year, even as gainful employment is in short supply. That, at least, was on the mind of Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who once more exhorted Arab governments to address youth unemployment -- and fast. No one was about to disagree. From Morocco to Iran, states and leaders of all sects, political systems and governing systems understand the threat posed by the region's high youth unemployment....

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