Seventeen thousand jobs were created in Jordan in the first half of 2015, a fall of 26 percent on the same period the previous year.
The Department of Statistics said the private sector added nearly 10,000 new jobs during that period, compared to 7,000 in the public sector. The report added that over 92 percent of these jobs went to Jordanians.
Ahmad Awad, head of the Pheonix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies, was alarmed by the sharp fall in the number of jobs created. “This is disastrous,” he said. “This number is approximately one-fifth of the jobs needed for university graduates each year in the Kingdom.”
He said the figures reflected the Kingdom’s sluggish economic growth of 2.5 over recent years and called on the government to improve working conditions and employment rights to encourage more Jordanians to fill positions usually taken up by migrant labor. Awad added the government could also help stimulate job creation by working to reduce operating costs in the private sector.
Economists say economic growth needs to be at least 7 percent for a healthy job growth, which seems far-fetched during these trying times of a global economic recession and a regional unrest that led to the closure of important overland trade routes.