Quality and Inequality of Jobs Created in MENA Region: The Case of Labor Market in Jordan

  •  Ibrahim Alhawarin    
  •  Mamdouh Salamat    


Using micro-level data sets, the current study constructs a Job Quality Index (JQI) for Jordanian wage and salary
workers. Due to the unavailability of data for some years, the study covers only the period 2000–07. Factor
Analysis is utilized to compile the index based on the following four dimensions: adequate earnings;
underemployment and overemployment (which together represent adequate working hours); and social security.
The main findings of the study are as follows:
(1) The JQI appears to have improved in 2007 compared to the mid-2000s, reaching similar levels of those
prevailing in 2000. (2) There exists a persistent gender gap in favor of male workers, whose jobs are
characterized by a higher JQI. This finding does not change even when taking into account other intervening
variables, particularly a worker’s age. Good jobs as a percentage of total jobs held by females appear to decline
in 2007, unlike males, whose share of good jobs has grown in the same year. Therefore, no sign of convergence
in job quality between males and females is detected. (3) JQI varies across education levels, however, less
obviously. Workers with basic education and lower are found to obtain considerably poorer jobs and jobs
generally characterized with lower JQIs. (4) The JQI differs across age groups. New entrants to the labor market
and workers on the verge of retirement are more likely to have lower job quality in comparison with other
workers belonging to age groups in the middle of their work lives. (5) The quality of jobs in agricultural
activities is found to be on average lower than other activities. On the other hand, real estate activities tend to
have higher job quality ratings than other sectors, especially in 2007.

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