Youth unemployment in Jordan: Evaluation of the role of active labor market programs (ALMPs) in increasing job opportunities for rural female youth
Active Labor Market Programs are widely used around the world, especially during transition periods and crises. They constitute a way to stimulate labor demand and provide support to job seekers and the unemployed (Angel-Urdinola, 2010). The overarching objectives of ALMPs are to improve employability and promote job creation. In addition, they can help correct employment barriers that can arise from insufficient labor demand and the mismatch between worker skills and labor market demand. (Urdinola et al., 2013). In Jordan, Active Labor Market Programs (ALMPs) emerged as a policy tool to address inconsistencies between skills and information (Angel-Urdinola, 2010). This research is an evaluation of the Active Labor Market Programs conducted in rural Jordan. This research aims at determining how successful Active Labor Market Programs are increasing rural youth employment, particularly, in terms of meeting the skill demand of the labor market, as well as creation and location of jobs for rural young women, after Jordan's economic recession in 2008. The research was carried out in two different geographical areas in Jordan, and the research tools used for this research include key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and a questionnaire survey of participants. The study found that the ALMPs that are not targeting unemployed female youth in rural areas, where they are attracting unemployed individuals with high education level, at no cost to participants and do not require minimum skills for participation. The most common types of ALMPs provided in rural Jordan are vocational training programs. However, these programs are facing various obstacles. Firstly, there are still social barriers that prevent females from joining these training programs. Secondly, the design of these programs is not based according to community needs assessment which leads to poor performance. And finally, these programs are not evaluated at any stage of implementation.