Growth, Economic Policies and Employment Linkages in Mediterranean Countries: The cases of Egypt, Israel, Morocco and Turkey

Employment Working Paper No. 63

Despite relatively positive economic performance in the years prior to the global economic and financial crisis, countries in the Mediterranean basin face important employment and labour market challenges. The unemployment rate especially amongst youth is one of the highest in the world and their labour markets are characterized by high incidence of underemployment, employment in the informal economy and poor working conditions. The gender gap, particularly the low labour force participation of women, is a major challenge. Limited opportunities for productive employment together with more demand for labour in European countries have resulted in labour migration from East and South Mediterranean countries towards the Northern shore of the Mediterranean. The recent global economic and financial crisis led to economic downturn at varying degree in different countries, however, it shed light on the structural challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.