Yemen - Working conditions

Yemen's poor education system has meant that the majority of Yemen's labor force is unskilled. About 62 percent of Yemeni adults are unable to read and write. This problem is aggravated by the fact that the majority of Yemen's labor force is concentrated in the agricultural sector, in jobs that do not require advanced skills. The unemployment rate in the country is quite high by regional and international standards, reaching 35 percent in 1998. Local training programs are also poor by regional standards, and job opportunities for graduates of local universities are limited. As a result, thousands of skilled and semi-skilled laborers are forced to seek employment opportunities in neighboring Arab countries. Child labor has been prohibited since 1999, but it remains widespread, especially in the agricultural sector. Government work hours are from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Private businesses maintain a different work schedule, which runs in 2 shifts: from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Yemen 25 5 26 3 5 5 31
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Saudi Arabia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Oman 22 8 25 13 21 5 7
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

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