Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

“Libya’s labor market is skewed toward the public sector, which employs more than 80 percent of the formal workforce, while the private sector employs just 4 percent of Libyans”, the World Bank reported in its latest January MENA Quarterly Economic Brief. “Furthermore”, the report continued, “attractive wages and benefits offered by the public sector have resulted in high wage expectations among job seekers and university graduates. As a result, the unemployment rate has remained high across the board, though official estimates show a decline in the figures post 2011 revolution”. [Libya Herald]
Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal issued on Thursday a ministerial decree to divert 10 percent of nongovernmental funds revenues to the public budget. The decree excluded medicinal purchases and service improvement funds from hospitals. It asked that the nongovernmental funds be received by February 15. Galal also warned against those not obliging the decree, threatening a cutting of 50 percent of funds accounts from the public budget. [Youm7]
Morocco’s finance minister has insisted that a proposed pension reform would go ahead next year, while hundreds of public sector workers took to the streets of Rabat to oppose the plan and other government spending cuts. As part of the pension reform, the Islamist-led government wants to increase the retirement age from 60, but has not said to what level, and expand the calculation base for pensions. [Reuters]
Inadequate public transportation is one of the major challenges impeding the employment of young job seekers, particularly females, according to a study released on Thursday. Thirty-nine percent of young Jordanians use more than three means of transportation to get to their workplace, while 46 percent use more than two forms of transport to get home from work, according to the study prepared by the USAID-funded Youth for the Future Program, which is implemented by the International Youth Foundation. [Jordan Times]
Also of Interest:
KSA, UAE to finance Russian arms deal with Egypt | Egypt Independent
Egypt bets on $14 billion Suez revamp | MGO
Egypt ranked 58th top exporter to US | DNE
AfDB will not halt loans to Egypt | Asharq Al-Awsat
Reconstruction of Libyan Telecom | MedAfrica
Tunisia’s minister of economy and finance asks French for debt forgiveness | BN, LM [French]
AFESD to grant Tunisia $240 million loan | TAP
EU extends restrictions against Ben Ali family | Kapitalis [French]
Ethiopia to sell Yemen electricity | Yemen Post
WB Report: Broadband networks in MENA | WB