The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Labour Market Implications in Jordan and Lebanon

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Series Details Number 29
Publication Date 29/05/2016
ISBN 978-92-79-54430-9
ISSN 2443-8022
EC KC-BD-16-029-EN-N
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This paper focuses on the labour market challenges that the refugee crisis is posing in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, two countries with double-digit unemployment even before the Syria crisis. High levels of national unemployment may contribute to social tensions between the host population and the refugees. This risk is especially pronounced among the youth and the lowest income segments, since the Syrian refugee population in Jordan and Lebanon features a young average age, a low level of skills and a high incidence of poverty: in 2014, 7 out of 10 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon could be considered poor; the number increases to 9 out of 10 refugees if the poverty lines used by the respective host countries are considered (Verme et al 2016).

Attention will be drawn to: the macroeconomic impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on its neighbours Jordan and Lebanon (Section 2); the policies regulating access to labour markets for Syrian refugees (Section 3); their profile in terms of age, skills and gender distribution (Section 4); and the resulting labour market outcomes in the host countries (Section 5). Section 6 summarises the labour market challenges that Jordan and Lebanon are facing in the context of the refugee crisis, while the final section (Section 7) presents some policy proposals to tackle these challenges and maximise the positive contributions of Syrian refugee workers in Jordan and Lebanon.

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