Unemployment [Archives:2004/757/Community]

July 22 2004

By Azzadeen Al-Amery
For the Yemen Times

Talking about unemployment means talking about an administrative cancer which increases crime rate and gives rise to the slogans: “Hunger is an infidel”, and “Free time kills”.
Economists define unemployment as a group of individuals who – due to an equilibrium deficiency between demand and supply – lost their job opportunities. The following reconnaissance sheds some light on the effects of unemployment on society.

Types of unemployment:
Zeyad Tawfeq, a student at the National Administrative Sciences Institute, defines the types of unemployment as follows:
1- Disguised: is connected to gradual drop of productivity of an employee until it reaches point zero.
2- Seasonal: describes the effect of seasonal fluctuations of agricultural production on the labor market. This is particularly apparent in developing countries where arable land is limited comparable to the high number of labor force.
3- Structural: is caused by introducing technology in a productive process to replace man power.
4- Temporary: until individuals gain required expertise and experience.
5- Emerging unemployment due to economic changes and market's swings: this type of unemployment usually takes place in industrial nations.
6- Flagrant unemployment: it usually happens when supply exceeds demand
7- Voluntary: when qualified individuals do not want to seek job opportunities. However, this kind of unemployment rarely occurs in Yemen.

Causes of unemployment:
There are many sociological symptoms associated with unemployment such as the drop of demand; low capital; meager wages (which forces many to prefer being unemployed); the increased proportion of graduates in comparison to available job opportunities; corruption (in that available jobs are granted to certain individuals, relatives and acquaintants and to those who have special connections and liaisons to state and private officials); governmental policies which only exacerbate the situation; the absence of effective measures towards 'Yemenization' of jobs at several state's and private sector's corporations; the arrogance to obtain foreign assistance and practical consultations on how to better create job opportunities; and the monopolization, by some, of some occupations and vocational jobs that could, otherwise, assist in reducing the number of the unemployed.
Mr. Nabil Abdulhaleem Thabit, also a student at the Institute, said the term “unemployed” is commonly used to refer to the status of a male or a female who does not have a job. But, to be labeled as a person suffering from flagrant unemployment, he or she has to meet the following conditions:
1- The person has to not have had a job for a period of time.
2- The person must be ready and able to work when he or she finds a job, or when a job is afford to him or her.
3- The person is willing to accept to work at the current market wage rate, even if it were lower than normal standards, but he or she were able to sustain a basic living condition.

A countries unemployment rate depends largely on its economic situation, however, the phenomenon of unemployment represents a social and economic condition that all countries of the world suffer from to varying degrees, despite all the exerted efforts and policies to ease or to eradicate it. International reports, including that by ISCWA, indicate that the world's unemployment rate is rapidly growing, in parallel with population growth rates that in some countries have reached very high levels. Yemen is one of those countries that suffers from unemployment and rapid population growth, with their negative and seriously dangerous impact on society. The population growth rate is expected to remain at 4% during the period 1995-2025.
The unemployment rate reached 9.1% according to population census implemented in 1994, and it was 7.7% based on the household survey in 1998.
“New policies and measures must be taken towards education particularly in vocational and technical education in order to meet market demands”, said Sami Abdulwasa, a student at the Institute.
Unemployment is a problem that all countries of the world have to deal with from time to time, said Mr. Mohamed Abdulhabeeb, another student at the Institute, whether rich or poor countries.
“I graduated from the National Administrative Sciences Institute in 1994 and until now, I have not found a job”, said Mr. Mohamed Najeeb Ghalib. “I am so desperate that I have begun to talk to myself and I would not mind working at a bakery store or a restaurant. Ironically, I did not learn or acquire the experience to work at those places, if any opportunity existed”. Really unemployment must be re-examined attentively in order to create job opportunities, otherwise, through desperation, Yemenis youths could turn into criminals.