The Government’s Hole!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Mon 31 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

We’re all in a tight spot, here, together. Well, not all of us, of course.

The mothers are confused, the fathers are becoming more desperate every day, and there’s barely any hope left, of a decent, for so many, but the government isn’t bothered by all this, it seems.

The government is in another hole, altogether.

Every window of hope our youth pry open, to depend on themselves, instead of waiting in the unemployment lines for some miracle to happen, the government shuts tight.

Last of these windows was the youth’s resort to work as drivers for Uber and Careem, as opposed to just waiting on the Civil Service Bureau, given the low employment rates.

The reality of our labour market is no secret; job opportunities are scares.

Meanwhile, the government, instead supporting our youth, whose resort to this works is only temporary, to help with the financial situation, they decide to fight them.

Apparently, the government considers working as an Uber or Careem driver illegal.

So, drivers are run down, baited and ambushed to impound their vehicles.

It is no secret that the government has lost the capacity to provide jobs. The private sector is becoming more vital in this regard by the day, this is becoming common knowledge.

The public sector is drowned in overweight and the many whose jobs are not provided, except for maybe a few sectors, and this is where it all goes wrong.

Neither is the public sector capable of absorbing unemployment, nor is the private sector allowed to grow enough to provide jobs.

Limitations to economic activity, given the slowdown in growth rates, in the absence of new projects to employ all the idle labourers, have become a problem.

Unemployment lines are growing by the day.

In numbers; the private sector is still incapable of providing new jobs. The total number of jobs provided by the private sector stands at 16.4 thousand, as opposed to 14.4 thousand jobs provided by the public sector.

Census by the Department of Statistics show that jobs provided in the second half of 2015 totalled at 31 thousand, including 28 thousand jobs for Jordanians, nearly 98.6 per cent.

This also means that foreigners and Syrian refugees still compete, to some extent, in the domestic labour market, and there is nothing wrong with that, per se.

What is wrong is, however, that there aren’t enough jobs for Jordanians to ease the suffering of their unemployment, which has increased in the last few years to dangerous levels.

Despite the evident fact that unemployment is growing, particularly upon youth, and is exceedingly reflecting on society, the government insists on dismissing it.

More so, the government went beyond merely dismissing it, to actually, actively taking part in tightening an already tightened noose.

If anything, this only shows speaks of the government’s short-sightedness, as they make life even harder for the youth who took it upon themselves to find a solution to their predicament!

At a time when we are unable to give our own alternatives, job opportunities, we shouldn’t race to deny them their rights to work.

We are already losing a lot in this turmoil of a situation, why actively take part in driving our youths to the ground?

Authorities treat them as if they were some sort of criminals, when their only crime is that they have found themselves a way to secure some income to save them the sufferings of unemployment!

Granted, carpooling apps are not a solution to unemployment, but they help some make it through.

The actual solution would be to revitalise the economy and expand the economic basis with more investments, but we don’t know when that’ll happen, given the local and regional situation.

For now, at least, so long as the government is unable to create enough jobs for Jordanians and residents of this country, they shouldn’t tighten the noose on their necks.

It is unwise to shut every door to hope in the face of youths who just want to make a living. So as not to amplify their frustration, agony, and desperation.

Desperation is a dangerous, dangerous thing!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.