European Neighbourhood Policy - South - labour market statistics

From Statistics Explained

Data from Juin 2013. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article is part of an online publication and presents data on the labour force for nine countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy - South (ENP-South); data are not yet collected for Libya. It offers an overview of the key characteristics of the labour force in Algeria (DZ), Egypt (EG), Israel (IL), Jordan (JO), Lebanon (LB), Morocco (MA), Palestine (PS), Syria (SY) and Tunisia (TN), including indicators on economic activity rate by gender, employment and unemployment rates, long term unemployment rate by gender and by educational attainment.

Figure 1: Economic activity rate by gender, 2011 (1) (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsi_act_a), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps412)
Figure 2: Employment rate gender gap (1) (percentage points)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsi_emp_a), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps413)
Table 3: Employment by economic activity (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsi_grt_a), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps414)
Table 4: Unemployment rate (% of the total labour force)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (une_rt_a), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps421)
Table 5: Long term unemployment rate (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (une_ltu_a), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps421)
Table 6: Unemployment rate by level of educational attainment, 2011 (1) (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (tps00066), for the MED countries, Eurostat (med_ps422)

Main statistical findings

Activity rate and employment rate of women

The activity rate and employment rate of women in the ENP-South countries is far below the EU-28. In many of the ENP-South countries (the most notable exception being Israel), the participation of women in economic activities is limited. The ENP recognises this 'women's empowerment deficit'; it is reflected in the considerable differences in employment and activity rates for men and women and the relatively low total employment and activity rates of women compared to those of the EU-28 (see Figures 1 and 2). The economic activity rate in the ENP-South countries is lower than in the EU-28. Differences in activity rates are even more pronounced when comparing by gender. Indeed, in all of the ENP-South countries (the most notable exception being Israel), the economic activity rate of women is far below the EU-28, being less than 30 % in all ENP-South countries while it is nearly 65 % in the EU-28. Differences between the ENP-South countries and the EU-28 in the activity rate of men are less dramatic: the activity rate of men ranges from 67.6 % in Algeria (in 2010) to 77.6 % in Lebanon (in 2010) and 77.5 % in the EU-28. Egypt and Morocco record higher activity rates for men with 78.2 % and 78.6 % respectively.

Employment rate gap between men and women

The employment rate gap between men and women is much higher in the ENP-South countries than in the EU-28. The employment rate gap between the genders widened in the ten years between 2001 and 2011 (see Figure 2) in a majority of the ENP South countries – reaching between 40 and 60 percentage points - with the exception of Israel. The employment gap between the genders is larger in the ENP-South countries, with the exception of Israel, than in the EU-28. In Egypt, Lebanon and Algeria, the employment gap between the genders is nearly five times larger than in the EU-28, while in the remaining ENP-South countries it is around 4 times higher.

Main economic sector in terms of employment

The service sector is the main economic sector in terms of employment in only two ENP-South countries.There are notable differences in the structure of employment by economic activity in the ENP-South countries. Employment in the industrial sector accounted for the largest share of employment in Algeria (48.3 % in 2010), Lebanon (48.0 % in 2009), Tunisia (46.2 % in 2011) and Palestine (44.4 % in 2011). The agricultural sector was still the main employer in Morroco at 39.8 % of total employment, the highest share among the ENP-South countries. Egypt and Israel are the two ENP-South countries where the services sector was the main economic sector in terms of employment, with 36.2 % and 64.8 % of total employment respectively. These figures were nevertheless still below the share of employment in services recorded in the EU-28 (71.7 % of total employment).

Unemployment rate

Unemployment rate trend was uneven in most of the ENP-South countries, but long term unemployment rate tended to decline. The ENP-South countries recorded uneven evolution of unemployment rates during the last decade. Among those ENP-South countries for which recent unemployment rate data are available (see Table 4), the rates in 2010/2011 were lower than in 2009 in Algeria, Israel, Morocco and Palestine and higher in Egypt and Tunisia. The unemployment rate in the EU-28 rose slightly between 2009 and 2011 (+0.7 percentage points).

Long-term unemployment is a key concern for many policy-makers, affecting social cohesion and, ultimately, economic growth. The total long-term unemployment rates in the ENP-South countries for which data are available were generally much lower in 2011 than in 2001 (see Table 5); most notable was the decline in Algeria, from 20.1 % in 2001 to 6.4 % in 2010. Apart from Israel (1.2 %), however, the total long-term unemployment rates in 2011 remained considerably higher than the average for the EU-28 (4.2 %).

Higher educational attainment and unemployment

In the ENP-South countries, higher educational attainment does not protect from unemployment. Unemployment rates also varied considerably according to the level of educational attainment. However, the pattern in many ENP-South countries, with the notable exception of Israel, was at odds with that observed in the EU-28. The general development in the EU-28, as in Israel, was one of declining unemployment rates with higher educational attainment (see Table 6). So care must be taken when analysing the apparently contrary development in most ENP-South countries. In addition to the many difficulties faced by educated women in the region, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) identifies a mix of other key factors: employment is concentrated in work of low productivity in the informal economy; the inability of economies to create enough graduate-matched jobs and the resulting skills mismatch; the absence of effective systems of public and private employment agencies and employment programmes.

Data sources and availability

The data for the ENP-South countries are supplied by and under the responsibility of the national statistical authorities (NSIs) of each of the countries on a voluntary basis. Data from other sources are very limited and clearly identified. The data for Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia are collected by Eurostat directly from the relevant NSIs. The statistics that are included in this article are freely available on-line and form part of the Pocketbook on Euro-Mediterranean statistics.

Context

Labour market statistics are increasingly used to support policy-making and to provide the opportunity to measure the involvement of individuals and households in the labour market. In the context of the ENP-South countries, these statistics allow monitoring of how the fast (through decelerating) expansion of the working population and relatively slow economic growth rate affect the situation of the labour force. The policy context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is explained here.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Pocketbook

Database

Population and social conditions (med_ps)
LFS main indicators (lfsi)
Population, activity and inactivity - LFS adjusted series (lfsi_act)
Employment - LFS adjusted series (lfsi_emp)
Unemployment - LFS adjusted series (une)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

External links


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