Volume 2013 Number 1
  • EISSN: 2309-3927


Achieving the objective of poverty reduction/eradication and promotion of social integration depends crucially on the expansion of productive and decent employment. Identifying the characteristics and trends of these three dimensions of the economy and society, as well as the linkages between them, is crucial for the design of policies that would contribute positively to increasing the welfare of Arab citizens.1

The paper examines first the nexus of employment, poverty and social protection from the time reforms were initiated in most Arab countries since the early 1990s till today. In doing so, the paper reviews key economic, labor and social developments up to the dawn of the Arab Spring, as well as explanations that have been put forward by various analysts regarding the causes of the uprisings. Countries in the Arab region did not make the progress the designers and proponents of economic reforms claimed, nor did employment creation lag behind or poverty increase, as advocated by the critics. The paper puts forward the proposition that while many governments, international organizations, and local and regional analysts have put much emphasis on issues pertaining to Arab youth, most problems are structural and affect equally, if not more, the adult and aging populations.

After identifying some critical facts in the areas of employment, human capital development and social protection, the paper re-evaluates some of the policies Arab countries have pursued so far and proposes new ones that could contribute to the creation of sustainable and decent employment, and therefore increase the prosperity of Arab citizens both within the economy and in society.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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