Youth Employment Action Plan 2014-2016
Unemployment - and especially youth unemployment - is one of the most important challenges faced by Yemen, and one of the main factors of political instability and insecurity.
In 2010, the overall labor force participation rate was as low as 39,5% - only 10,1% for women while the unemployment rate was at 17,8% - but as high as 54,6% for women. Widespread unemployment and poverty, as well as the lack of social justice, fuelled the protests of 2011. The crisis caused a 12.8% GDP decline in addition to a significant deterioration of the economic environment which particularly affected job opportunities for young people. While GDP has started recovering since 2012, the estimated economic growth is not sufficient to solve the problems of unemployment, especially as Yemen continues to struggle with a very intense demographic pressure due to an annual population growth rate of 3%. Young people in the age group 15-29 years represent one-third of the Yemeni society, and 45% of the population is below 14 years of age. The growth of these young groups seeking work is expected to continue and further strain the absorption capacity of the labor market.
While acknowledging that addressing unemployment is a long-term endeavor, the Government of Yemen (GoY) is determined to start tackling the issue in a systematic manner. This firm commitment, included in the Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) approved at the Donors Meeting held in Riyadh in September 2012, led to the endorsement of the Youth Employment Action Plan /yEAP (2014-2016) by the Cou ncil of Ministers in September 2013.