The Jordan Labor Watch has confirmed the continued decline in the application of Decent Work standards on the level of government policies and practices at the workplaces, as the Jordanian labor market suffers imbalances that have affected the creation of new and decent job opportunities.
The JLW that followed to the Phenix Center stated in a position paper was prepared in the occasion of the International Day for Decent Work on Thursday, 7 October of each year. Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the imbalances, increased job losses, and risen the level of unemployment in the Kingdom, as it reached during the second quarter of the current year 24.8%, and the unemployment rate for the age category (20-24) has reached 48.8%.
In its paper, issued in cooperation with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the JLW has illustrated that there was a tangible decline in the jobs created for the new comers to the labor market, since the Jordanian Economy was able to create 70,000 jobs per year in 2007, whilst in 2018, it declined to 38,000 job opportunity only. In 2020, around 140,000 male and female workers have had lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic, which increased the unemployment rates to unprecedented numbers.
The JLW attributed the deficiency of the economy’s capabilities in creating job opportunities to several reasons: mainly de to the rise in energy prices and tax burdens, and the adoption of fiscal policies that led to an increase of the production costs, where it’s noticeable the expansion of the imposition of indirect taxes (sales and private), the increase of social security deductions, and the existence of a wide gap between the needs of the labor market and the outcomes of the educational system.
Moreover, the regressive amendments on the legislation organizing Labor Unions have contributed to weakening the collective bargaining, and the protection of workers by their unions. Besides, limiting collective bargaining and labor conflict on organized workers who are in unions with the General Federation of Trade Unions in Jordan.
Besides that, the minimum wage of 260 dinars, does not go in line with the economic conditions and living standards, in addition, there is a huge group of workers who receive wages less than the minimum wage, especially in the informal sectors, which is about 48% of the overall workforce in Jordan.
The Labor Watch recommended a review of the tax policies that have expanded by imposing indirect taxes and burdened the production projects, in addition to the necessity to the focus on vocational training, via increasing the budget of the Vocational and Technical Education and Training Institution. And to reconsider the university majors and direct them towards the conveyance of the labor market requirements.