The status and nature of labor and employment across the region was one of the underlying causes of the Arab uprisings and remains a major problem today. Long overlooked or discarded as unrealistic before the current transition, the integration of labor markets in a manner that addresses the core issues at hand could form the basis of a region-wide response to region-wide problems. At the centre of this integration policy will need to be an “Arab Jobs Pact” (AJP), an agreement between Arab states that integrates regional labor policies through supranational management. This proposed AJP is based on five pillars: transitioning labor policy from national to supranational management, administering flows of labor between and within states, matching education with the skills needed for productive jobs, focusing investment on job-intensive sectors and enterprise development, and developing active labor market programmes.
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