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Generating Jobs For Youth GCC Nationals? – Tourism Development, Demographic Change, and Labour Market Situation in GCC Countries

Nadine Scharfenort

Abstract

The GCC states have built their economies on the hydrocarbon industry that allowed rapid economic and urban development and financed large, inefficient public sectors. The over-dependence of nationals on public sector employment now exerts massive pressure on the governments: All GCC countries are still undergoing a period of rapid increase in their youth populations, resulting in a significant number of new labour-market entrants each year with an undersupply of adequate jobs, accompanied by a rise of un- and underemployment mostly among national youths. National development strategies to diversify the economy currently focus on the development of service sectors, including the labour-intensive tourism sector.

I argue that the travel and tourism sector has great potential to reduce the unemployment and underemployment of young GCC citizens despite their reservations towards private sector and tourism employment. However, this can only be achieved by implementing long-needed reforms of education systems, labour markets, and the mentality of societies.

Aknowledgement

I would like to thank Associate Prof. Dr. Victoria Hightower (University of North Georgia) for proof-reading my paper and the many years of lively exchange on GCC issues.

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Published Online: 2020-10-13
Published in Print: 2020-10-12

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