Expanding Youth Opportunities in the Arab Region

12 Nov 2013

This paper examines the social and economic development outcomes linked to youth in the Arab region, and evaluates the performance of Arab governments in responding to the needs of the young generation. The 100 million young men and women in the region face very high unemployment and under-employment, as almost one third of active youth in the Arab world are unemployed, and informal and unpaid family work is pervasive. Young Arab women are especially excluded from labor markets, as more than two-thirds of women between the ages of 15 and 29 are outside the labor market, the highest rate in the world. Lack of jobs especially for the young has been a characteristic of the region’s economic growth performance in the past fifty years.


The Arab Human Development Report Research Paper Series is a medium for sharing recent research commissioned to inform the Arab Human Development Report, and further research in the field of human development. The AHDR Research Paper Series is a quick-disseminating, informal publication whose titles could subsequently be revised for publication as articles in professional journals or chapters in books. The authors include leading academics and practitioners from the Arab countries and around the world. The findings, interpretations and conclusions are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UNDP or United Nations Member States. The present paper was authored by Jad Chaaban.

UNDP Around the world