Matching skills and jobs in Lebanon: Main features of the labour market – challenges, opportunities and recommendations
The Lebanese labour market is encountering significant challenges. In 2012, the national unemployment rate was estimated at 11 per cent, with jobseekers often unemployed for periods of up to one year. Unemployment rates are particularly high for women (18 per cent) and youth (34 per cent).
The labour market is also characterized by:
(a) low levels of job creation, particularly in value-added sectors, resulting in a shortage of available jobs;
(b) significant numbers of workers engaged in the informal sector;
(c) important in-migration and forced displacement from other parts of the Arab region, particularly from Syria;
(d) out-migration of young Lebanese skilled workers; and
(e) strong occupational segregation and skills mismatch.
There are currently serious data gaps at both national and regional levels, for both the supply and demand sides. Lebanon does not have a Labour Market Information System and labour market data is not systematically collected. Labour market data and figures are outdated, the most recent being the Household Expenditure Survey (CAS 2012), the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (CAS 2009), and the Household Living Conditions Survey (CAS 2007).
The present policy note uses the most recent data available at the time of publication and aims to highlight the importance of improved skills anticipation for job matching. It examines the key factors that influence the evolution of skills supply and demand and provides general guidance on labour market trends and job opportunities in various economic sectors, with a particular focus on North Lebanon. It also identifies why skills anticipation is important and offers insights into possible ways of avoiding potential gaps between skills demand and supply.