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Determinants of Graduate Unemployment in Tunisia

Listed author(s):
  • Maher Gassab


    (ESC Tunis, URMA – FSEG Tunis)

  • Hanène Ben Ouada Jamoussi


    (ESC Tunis, URMA – FSEG Tunis)

According to the report of the Central Bank of Tunisia (2009), the unemployment rate had reached 13.3% in 2009. This rate had steadily increased from 12.5% in 2006. This is one of the major challenges of the Tunisian economy and many countries of the MENA region. Furthermore, with more than 500 000 job seekers, the unemployment rate in Tunisia remains one of the highest in the MENA region. A feature of unemployment in Tunisia is the unemployment of graduates. The unemployment rate for this category of young people has recently grown dramatically from 16.9% in 2006 to 21.9% in 2009. This rate is expected to rise in coming years despite all the arrangements made for young graduates to insert them into the labour market. To understand the determinants of this type of unemployment, the paper is based on the diagnosis of the situation through a synthesis of the key findings of surveys conducted in 2005 and 2007 on the promotion of graduates in 2004. This diagnosis was supported by an econometric model linking the unemployment indicator to the key indicators of qualification. The massification of the higher education and the lack of creation of adequate jobs are the main causes of the exponential rise of the unemployment rate for graduates. This situation has forced many students to continue their studies, thus paradoxically minimizing their chances of being recruited because of their over qualification. With the exception of a few specialties such as medicine, computing, telecommunications and architecture, where opportunities are available, especially abroad, other types of graduates meet more or less difficulty on the labour market. The solutions to overcome this crisis of unemployment are rather difficult, requiring enormous resources over several years. These solutions would affect several areas; such as the higher education, the vocational training, the investment and the regional integration.

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Paper provided by AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium in its series Working Papers with number 16.

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Length: 14
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:laa:wpaper:16
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  1. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571-571.
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