Lebanon jobless rate near tripled since 2018
The official unemployment rate in Lebanon has now reached 29.6% according to a UN and government joint survey.
The official unemployment rate in crisis-hit Lebanon nearly tripled to 29.6% at the start of the year, according to a joint UN-government study released Thursday.
The survey indicated that the unemployment rate "increased from 11.4 percent in 2018-2019 to 29.6 percent in January 2022, indicating that almost one-third of the active labor force was unemployed in January 2022."
Lebanon's economy crashed two years ago as a result of years of corruption and financial mismanagement, devaluing the national currency by 95% and sending poverty rates skyrocketing.
According to a rare poll issued by Lebanon's Central Administration of Statistics and the International Labour Organization, the informal economy accounted for around 60% of employment.
One of the most concerning findings was the significant increase in "underutilized labor" from 16.2% in 2018-2019 to 50.1% in January 2022, referring to persons who could work more hours than they do.
The topic of unemployment has received little attention in the campaigns of the major parties fielding candidates in Sunday's parliamentary election.
The International Monetary Fund encouraged Lebanon to overhaul its bloated public sector, which employs almost a quarter of the working population, in its initial bailout agreement with the government last month.