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Employment in Algeria - statistics & facts

The labor market in Algeria has improved in the last decade. Compared to the 2000s, the unemployment rate declined significantly and the number of economically active people in the country increased in recent years. Nevertheless, there are still several challenges related to the high levels of labor market segmentation. Moreover, in 2020, the local economy was hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, political instability, and the drop in oil prices. This will negatively impact the Algerian job market, with unemployment expected to rise in the coming years.

Youth and female employment

While the overall unemployment rate remained low in the last decade, youth unemployment reached nearly 30 percent in 2020. Young people's employment is a key challenge for Algeria. The Algerian population has been constantly growing in the last ten years, which is why the new generations represent significant potential for national economic development. The job situation is also critical for women. Even though women are, on average, more educated than men, the female employment rate has been far lower than that of males in recent years. Among other reasons, the gap is mostly due to gender discrimination, lack of skills, and cultural legacies.

Increasing service-orientation

In 2020, nearly 60 percent of the labor force in Algeria was employed in the service sector. Most recently, services have represented the country’s leading sector in terms of GDP contribution, with the Algerian economy becoming increasingly service-oriented. The recent development of this sector comes with the attempt to diversify an economy that has been heavily reliant on oil and gas. The hydrocarbon industry is particularly capital-intensive and only employs a small portion of the workforce. Therefore, the growing service sector offers further job opportunities for the Algerian population.

An attractive public sector

Similar to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the public sector in Algeria tends to be overstaffed. This is particularly true for women, who are mostly employed in the public sector rather than in the private. This situation is typical of oil-exporting countries such as Algeria, where the government, enriched by oil revenues, is central to the country’s economy. Public sector jobs offer considerably higher wages, which usually do not adapt to current times. This, along with higher levels of job security, makes the public sector particularly attractive to job-seekers.

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Employment in Algeria

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