Lebanon Businessnews News

ESCWA says unemployment could rise
GDP growth will improve to 2.1 percent in 2014
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The UN’s most recent Survey of Economic and Social Developments said the country's real GDP growth for 2013 was estimated at 1.8 percent, compared to an average of 4.4 percent in the Arab region. Projected GDP growth in 2014 will reach 2.1 percent.

2013 GDP growth estimates were the worst in the region, if we exclude Syria (negative growth of seven percent).

The inflation rate stood at 5.2 percent in 2013, directly ahead of Jordan (five percent). The country’s inflation rate for 2014 was projected at 4.5 percent.

The report said the overall unemployment rate reached 12 percent. The highest unemployment rate is among young people between 15 and 24 years old (around 21 percent). Informal employment in total non-agricultural employment totaled around 52 percent.

According to the report, if Syrian refugees are not absorbed by the labor market and do not bring in any additional economic resources, GDP per capita in Lebanon will decrease.

Women’s participation in the labor market remains low at 22 percent. Lebanon ranked 11th among 18 Arab countries in women employment rate. Around half of working women are graduated, another 25 percent have completed secondary school, and less than seven percent are illiterate.

Reported by Joelle Nassar
Date Posted: Oct 25, 2013
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