This Policy Paper aims to provide a better understanding of the drivers of youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by examining some common factors and then delving deeper into the case of Morocco, a relatively stable country that has historically been a source of large emigration, especially towards Europe.
The MENA region has some of the highest total and youth unemployment rates in the world. High youth unemployment is especially worrisome because it can have lasting effects on lifetime employability and can be the cause of political instability. Migration pressures can increase as it tends to be the young that emigrate.
The analysis in this paper argues that even though the rate of growth of the region’s young population is likely to moderate over the next few years, it is expected to experience another bulge in the 2020’s, and high unemployment is likely to remain a persistent feature in the foreseeable future in several MENA countries.