Lebanon has been historically exporting skilled workers to many regions in the world including Gulf, Africa, Europe, and North America. For more than 10 years, the Unemployment rate in Lebanon has been increasing to reach 11.35% in 2019 (from 6.35% in 2009). Since the Economic crisis in 2019, the rate has dramatically increased to reach 14.5% in 2021.
To dig deeper into unemployment in Lebanon we can see that the citizens with advanced education (holders of a university degree or above) are prone more to unemployment, in comparison to intermediate (secondary schooling) and basic education (primary schooling or below).
So what can we do to solve this?
It is worth mentioning that since the economic crisis in Lebanon in 2019 followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lebanese economy deteriorated severely leading to the closure of many companies and establishments or downsizing in the terms of employees and costs.
Note that among the 3 sectors (services, industry, and agriculture), the services sector was the most to hold the burden of this economical crisis, especially for the restaurants, hotels, banks, and retail traders,…
The employment breakdown as per sector shows that the service sector retained the most employment over years, in contrast to agriculture which only received 11.32% of total employment in 2019.
Therefore, we should try to shift the load of the employment to the other sectors in Lebanon (industry and agriculture) by encouraging the highly educated persons to start their own businesses in this area, which will then lead to more employment from the less educated in these 2 fields.
This will not be attainable unless the government and international entities start incentivizing the youth by providing the below:
- Access to finance (through long-term small loans at a minimized rate of interest)
- Access to knowledge (by providing proper training to the youth in management and technical expertise)
- Access to market (by providing the connections to the youth to sell their products through)
To note that some initiatives from the public have been launched to provide one or more of the above-mentioned, however, the government hasn’t yet started any steps to help.