Tripoli is at nine percent
Potential jobs through support
of SMEs and startups
The working age population in the North is estimated at 610,000 individuals, of which 53 percent are inactive, leaving a total labor force of 289,000, according to the World Bank report “Jobs for North Lebanon”, issued this week.
Within the participating labor force, 20 percent are employers and 22 percent are self-employed, both are largely informal. Just 49 percent of the labor force receive a standard wage and of those, only 15 percent are formal wage workers. The remaining nine percent are unemployed.
Among those who are active, the majority have low levels of education, especially among adults. Forty five percent of the active population has elementary education or below, while 31 percent have completed tertiary education.
The low labor force participation rates and low education levels limit both the size and quality of the workforce in the North. Among those who are working, the majority are in poor quality, low productivity jobs working in enterprises of less than ten employees.
There are variations in labor market outcomes, especially among women. Only one in five (20 percent) working age women participate in the labor market, compared to 73 percent among working age men. Around 80 percent of active women are salaried employees, and only 20 percent are self-employed or employers.
The majority of workers are employed in the wholesale and retail trade sector, which is characterized by low productivity.
Around 9,000 jobs exist across the across the production of potatoes at various stages, including 1,800 permanent and 7,200 seasonal jobs.
The total labor force in the North is expected to reach 362,000 by 2025, due to existing trends in the growth rate of the working age population and the current labor market participation rates. This implies that the regional economy would need to create an average of 8,000 jobs each year to maintain a the current state of the labor market.
There is no significant job creation policy expected in the coming five years for the region. Five years represents the time period before anticipated projects inducing new infrastructure investments, including the Tripoli Special Economic Zone, port, and railway developments come into effect.
The challenge will be to support SMEs, to improve market performance, and to develop new market niches. Any focus on job creation should also include the informal sector. Some of the potential solutions to address short-term job creation are delivering new forms of finance to support SME and entrepreneurship, and developing targeted programs to support female and youths in their business start-up efforts.
Date Posted: Sep 28, 2017