Unemployment hits 18.2 percent after methodology overhaul

Unemployment in Jordan reached 18.2 percent in the first quarter of the year after the Department of Statistics introduced a new methodology for calculating joblessness that now includes migrants and refugees, and any unpaid jobs and trainings.

The figure, which was reached using a new sampling technique devised in conjunction with the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), is significantly higher than the 13.9 percent recorded in the same period in 2016.

“The adoption of this new methodology is considered a pioneer step in the field of labor market and labor migration statistics, and it will provide the Government of Jordan with better information for designing policies for increased labor force participation and employment,” the ILO said in a statement.

Jordan has provided refuge to some 1.3 million Syrians, of which 657,000 are registered as refugees with UNHCR. The vast majority live outside refugee camps in urban areas. Jordan last year agreed to issue tens of thousands of work permits for Syrian refugees in return for more favorable access to EU markets.