UNEMPLOYMENT OVERPLUS (THE SURPLUS OF MANPOWER) Background, Reasons, Reflections and Influences [Archives:1999/40/Business & Economy]

October 4 1999

Ismail Al-Ghabiry,
Yemen Times
In the beginning of the 1970s, Yemen became fell into a bad condition, especially during the period that extended from 1962-1970. Yemen was suffered from underdevelopment as an after math of colonialism. In addition to this, Yemen faced lots of problems caused by some mercenary forces that worked to interrupt the process of development in Yemen. There were no economic foundations which are the main resources of development. Moreover, Yemen had established its administrative framework after the declaration of the Republic in the North and the achievement of independence in the South. All these factors did not affect the process of development in Yemen. It began to find suitable ways through which it can ensure development by any means. The first general budget in 1973 that came along with the first triangle developing program; 1973/ 1974 – 1975 / 1976 ( in the North), and the developing project in 1971 / 1972- 1973/ 1974 ( in the South ).
These developing projects concentrated on the following points:
– developing infrastructure ( roads, ports, airports and the different projects involving transportation, water and electricity
– projects of social infrastructure namely education and health, that increased social requirements. It lately, got an importance represented by the inauguration of some faculties, which were the cornerstone of Aden and Sana’a Universities.
– implementation gave further of welfare to measure the first census in 1973 in the South, and in 1975 in the North.
In view of the limitation of trained and qualified human resources, governments of the two divisions; South and North had adopted the policy of complete assimilation of the university and the other professional institutes graduates, who have completed their studies abroad. They were installed in the high administrative jobs and in the supervised jobs, while the students occupied the specialized and management jobs in the different professional levels, which are available in the country. The lack of adequate number of teachers through contracts with Arab teachers. So, in-spite of the heavy financial constraints triggery by a big increase with social demand in educational and healthy services, there were a positive factors which helped revive relationship between Yemen and the other neighboring countries, which substantially help reducing economic and social disparities as well as the problem of unemployment.
The positive factors which helped to establish the economy can be represented as follows:
1-Immigration of a number of Yemeni laborers to gulf countries, to various projects concerned with building in those countries.
2- Increase in the volume of the donations and financial assistance to Yemen from the Arab and foreign countries and some of the regional organizations,to help complete the different projects.
3-Cover up a big part of Yemen’s existing fiscal difficulties through loans from the Arab and foreign countries or through different associations and funds.
4- adopting self financial projects for building a number of schools and health centers by people’s financing.
5- Achieving the aims of the triangle developing program and project speedily, which contributed to the activity of development in the two divisions the South and the North.
Inspite of the fruitful development that was achieved during the 1970s in the South and the North, Yemen had faced an interior difficult interior problems as the following:
1- clash ideologies capitalism and socialism and its consequences. All these conflicts instability in economic and social sectors.
These political problems caused the continuous change of the high official leaders and the installation of unqualified workers in important occupations. In addition to this, we faced the problem of demobilization of soldiers, who lost their jobs had to be enrolled in civic institutions. There was no systematic relation between work system and country institution.
2- Dependence upon flow of foreign funds,through immigrants and foreign loans that affected national economy by the passing of time.
3- Absence of the conditions to encouraged investment of the national wealth.
4- Immunity from foreign employment, which interrupted the productive opportunity of the country.
5- Mismatch between education and training towards the developing fields.
During the period of 1980s, Yemen had faced lots of economic problems which were aggravated in course of the problem was accepted by the weakness of performance and production in the official economic sectors, and inflation.
Yemen had devoted its energy to reform economic and administrative corruption in low and legislation. It also witnessed an outstanding development in terms of confined renewal of work technologies. Added to this the dependence upon the foreign expertise, and mis-construal of the cultural, political and social importance results in the continuity of the foreign pressure.
By the end of the 1980s, there were many differences in the international system and economy leading to serious problems including a transition from from the restricted economy to free economy and to market mechanism. These changes played important roles of the economy of the developing countries such as Yemen. So, there was no way to overcome these crises except resorting to Unification, which was declared on May 22, 1990.
Now, we are attempting to draw a full picture of the condition of Yemen during the modern period. The new changes of the world facilitate Yemen to review of plane new ways of social and economic development. But the interior conditions of Yemen needs economic and financial reforms, which was recently approved by the Parliament on December 15, 1991. In spite of difficulties reform had faced of implementing for a outer and internal reasons, it got a courage during that early period of Unification
Regarding the administrative the economic and civic sector, the integration between the different corporations of the South and the North led to elaborate the administrative net work . The fiscal condition before the unification was marked by shortfall and the weakness of incomes and productions. This condition went on till the declaration of unification because economy needed urgent restructuring of a number of productive corporations which were suffered a lot from shortfall.
In addition to this, the recent events which represented by the Gulf War caused the return of about a million immigrants to their country, Yemen. They created an economic and social problem. All of a sudden, they found themselves without jobs, and this is what caused the problem of unemployment. The problem increased more as the prices of oil went down.
In view of these changes, the economic condition witnessed a down ward trend, and the incomes of the country went back because of the weakness of the productive sector. On the other hand the foreign loans, and assistance which were offered to Yemen did not continue any more.
The problems that appeared since the beginning of the 90s in the administrative field, which can be summarized as follows points:
– absence of the accurate limitation of reconstruction’s aims of reconstruction.
– escalation of the trend of inflation at the central level.
– Absence of accurate stipulation for public employment and qualifications and experience.
– Absence of the proper infrastructure for evaluating performance and of discovering the faults so as to find the way of correcting them. This led to increase in corruption practices bribe, wasting of work time and the administrative corruption.
– Low of the performance of projects launched involving citizen’s affairs.
– Absence of the integrated phenomena and concepts, which systemize the relation between central local sectors and corporations.
– Lack of coordination between executive corporations on the local and central levels.
– Misuse of planning, programming and supervision by the central frameworks because of its involvement in the executive affairs.
Unemployment; reasons, reflections and influences :
in view of the continuos changes which took place during the recent years because consequence upon political upheaval, serious steps were contemplated to overcomes these changes sparked of problems in the economic and financial sectors with the following consequences:
–The problem of unemployment : putting the unskilled in new occupations in specific projects such as directly all the graduates of the universities and the other professional institutes to fill in the big void of the lack of teachers in the rural areas. There was wrong decision to assimilate a number of immigrants who came back from the Gulf. Members of political parties occupied important positions in the government, while they had no background in these occupations. In addition to this,the huge spendings by the members of the Parliament have made the public exchanger poorer . A number of employees had been enrolled in the services of health sector during the war of 1994.
— Massive expenditures on account of salaries and privileges:
– the high costs of salaries.
– giving employees additional bonus immediately after the financial and economic reform.
– different demands for bowing to pay by the employees have inevitably.
The government took upon its shoulder the entire salaries component of employees and some of the workers of the economic restricted sector as well as responsibility of those who resigned after the process of privatization.

Unemployment overplus:
At the time of the declaration of the Unification, there were a number of integrated corporations, which consisted of (37) member of the Cabinet. The number of the employees which appeared in the official administrative sector and private sector during the first period of the unification was approximately 250,000.
The final figures issued by the Ministry of civic service and administrative reform illustrated that the number of the employees increased during the last seven years from June, 1990- June, 1997 to become 400533 according to the final statistics published on June 6, 1997. Here we find that the number of employees, which were added during the seven years was 150, 533. The average rate is 8,6 % during the aforementioned period, but this figure went down during 90-1995 to remain at 3,1 % because of the new policy of the government.

Additional employment:
It was influenced by two factors, the first one is called the additional employment. It represents those persons who lost their jobs. The second one is called surplus employment, which refers to having more employees than needed.
Causes of the Problem:
The causes of this problem relate to the conditions which appeared in the in the government during the first periods of independence in the South Yemen. There was a big extension in the policy of the government during that period which has two aspects.
1- Economic and developing policy based upon the concept of monopoly by the government for most of the economic and social activities, and the negligence of the private sector in all fields.
2- Employment policy concentrated on the social factors and some of the traits of the economic factor. The above factors caused inflation on the economic sector of the government.
The results of these policies were being realized through the protection offered by the government to the public sector, and the new vision adopted by the constitution of the Republic, which based upon economic and the freedom of competition in all fields. The decline in all sectors aggravated problems which made the problem of unemployment, culminating in weakness of means to compete in the new conditions, and the returning of the properties to their owners after the nationalization and the agricultural reform.
Characteristics features of the overplus employment:
– Sex: Male 90 %
– Female 10 %
– Age: the average age of the unemployed is between (20-40 year), but the high rate pertained to the youth.
-Educational status: it relates to discrepancies in educational levels of the universities, and the secondary schools. Most of those employees who occupied strategic and professional administrative occupations were in the Southern governorates.
The government had worked to implement a number for procedures of reducing the suffering of the affected and to find a helpful means which can contribute solving their affairs. These include following:-
1- Seeking the help of the public budget to cover salaries of employees, and provisions must be made so that the Ministry of Finances must transfer these amounts to the Ministry of civil services.
2- Giving additional employment to the Ministry of civic services to carry out administrative reform to take the in terms of responsibilities as the regular exchange of money of the salaries, the true distribution of those employees on the different departments of the administrative phenomena and demobilization. In addition to this,the government took steps for solutions and arrangements of the employment conditions in the agricultural corporations. But all these solutions just help in reducing the suffering of those affected. In fact it does not represent the final solution for this problem because it did not go to its real and inner reasons.
Hence, we can illustrate the real current condition through the following:-

The Rate of Population (Employees)
Southern Governorates 6- 37 /1
Northern governorates 42- 128 /1
Total 36 / 1