Syria’s future in danger with high rates of unemployment

عاطلين عن العمل ملون-w450Enab Baladi Issue # 77 – Sunday August 11, 2013

Syria’s future in danger with high rates of unemployment

The high rates of unemployment are known to be the greatest crises for the economic collapse. After two and a half years since the Syrian revolution began, the Syrian economy faced unprecedented high rates of unemployment. It was linked with the sharp rise in inflation, which seems like it will not stop even if the Syrian crisis did end, because of its catastrophic results on the economy and society in the future.

The Syrian center for policy research has revealed in its report for the first quarter of the current year that 2.3 million Syrians lost their jobs since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, indicating that the rate of unemployment has increased to 48.8%. The report that has been prepared by the center with the cooperation of UNRWA revealed that the “overall number of unemployed people has reached 2.965 million”

And what makes the unemployment crisis worse, is having the heads of the private sectors demobilizing large numbers of employees especially in sectors including tourism, banking, hotels, travel agencies, and airlines. The reports issued from the Social Security Institution in Syria revealed that the number of laid off workers in private sectors increased from 70 thousand in 2012, to about 130 thousand employees in the middle of 2013.

These workers have been laid off without receiving adequate compensation because law number 17 (that governs labor relations the private sector) for 2010 permitted employers to lay off employees arbitrarily without any reasons.

Mohammed, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, used to work in one of the construction companies in the private sector. He mentioned that he was laid off from that company about six months ago, he didn’t receive any kind of compensation for the ten years he has worked in that company and he still doesn’t have a job till now. There are many other young adults facing the same situation, whether they were seeking refuge in neighboring countries, or were laid off but are still in Syria. Mohammed says, “You are lucky if you still have a job till now, having a job these days with this inflation is a blessing”.

Since the Syrian government realizes that the high unemployment rates will speed up the collapse of the Syrian economy, they have started to delude unemployed workers. They are trying to show them that they are doing their best to provide more job opportunities by putting forward the project called “Youth Employment”. Youth Employment aims to provide 25 thousand job opportunities, but it was soon clear that this project was bogus.  The Ministry of Labor announced that this project was for training the youth in state agencies to enter the labor market, it was not to provide the youth with functional jobs. The Syrian economy faces many crises, with high unemployment rates being the most dangerous of all. It seems that it is impossible to find a solution for this crisis especially with what’s going on in Syria currently, which is going to leave the Syrians with serious repercussions.

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