118,000 Libyans officially looking for work: Ministry of Labour

By Sami Zaptia.

(Ministry of Labour).

London, 1 March 2020:

Libya’s Tripoli-based Ministry of Labour announced that there were officially 118,000 looking for work in 2019. These are the numbers registered in its database covering the whole of Libya, the Ministry said yesterday.

The regional breakdown for the figures is:

  • 13,508 in the south
  • 7,330 in the east
  • 65,196 in the west
  • 31,984 in the central region

It will be recalled that Libya suffers from high unemployment especially in the youth sector – which is considered one of the highest in the Maghreb region.

According to the World Bank, Libya’s labour market is skewed toward the public sector, which employs more than 80 percent of the formal workforce, while the private sector employs just 4 percent of Libyans.

Unemployment was at around 15 percent in 2013 down from a high of 20 percent in 2010. However, unofficial estimates suggest that the actual figure is closer to 30 percent with the rates for the youth estimated at 50 percent. Worryingly, most unemployed hold university degrees.

In a number of reports over the years, the World Bank has put this to the skills mismatches in the labour market needed generate a vibrant private sector. This includes the lack of access to financing, uncertainty in the legal environment and a fragile security situation preventing private sector growth.

More pertinently for Libya, the need and hope for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration DDR of its militias is very much linked with the Libyan state and economy creating enough work opportunities for its waring militias.


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