School-to-Work Transition in Jordan, 2010-2016

Mona Amer

Economic Research Forum Working Paper Series, No. 1196 (2018)


This paper examines the transition of young Jordanians from school into the labor market between 2010 to 2016 in the context of a demographic shock due to the influx of Syrian refugees and slowdown in economic growth. The analysis is based on data from the Jordan Labor Market Panel Surveys (JLMPS) of 2010 and 2016. The author finds that:

  • The number of Syrians increased by 1.2 million, increasing their share in the total population from 0.4 percent in 2010 to 13.3 percent in 2016. The share of Jordanian nationals among the youth (15-34) fell from 91.3 percent in 2010 to only 70.6 percent in 2016, while the share of Syrians among the youth increased from 0.5 percent in 2010 to 11.9 percent in 2016.
  • Despite improvements in the educational attainment of Jordanian youth between 2010 and 2016, their labor market outcomes have deteriorated. The unemployment rate rose sharply, for both men and women at all educational levels and for all age groups. Labor force participation of young men declined sharply for all age groups and all educational levels. Female labor force participation decreased among the most educated. The proportion of NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) among young people has increased, particularly sharply among young men. A larger proportion of young men and women are unemployed or inactive after leaving the education system. Entry in the labor market has been delayed for both men and women and a greater proportion does not enter the labor market in 2016 compared to 2010.