The Labour Force in Libya': Problems and Prospects

كوكب الجغرافيا أغسطس 19, 2019 أغسطس 19, 2019
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The Labour Force in Libya':

 Problems and Prospects

The Labour Force in Libya':   Problems and Prospects


Abdussalam 0. Ibrahim

B.Sc University of Libya

Diploma in Development Planning, Kuwait

MPA University of Hartford, USA

Graduate Society

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Social

 Sciences in candidacy for the degree of Doctor

of Philosophy

University of Durham


August 1987


    The population of Libya has experienced a fast growth during the last three decades or so, and has actually more than trebled. However, it is still small in relation to the considerable resources and the vast territory of the country. The broadly based population pyramid, the unbalanced population and labour force distribution, the still ineffective educational and training system, the rapid pace of development, the under-employment of Libyans, the lack of dedication, workaholic attitudes and sense of responsibility among many Libyans and the prevailing cultural pattern of female exclusion from working careers, have together resulted in a wide gap between the supply and the demand for labour. To close such a wide gap, an importation of hundreds of thousands of non-nationals was necessary. For many reasons the number of the latter grew and grew to the degree that they started to constitute about one fifth of the total population and almost half of the total employment, and the dependence on them was too heavy to the extent that locals became parasitic.

  Although the nationalization of the labour force started more than ten years ago, it has achieved little. The growth of the national economy, the broad cradle-to-grave social security, the abundant wealth, the immature foreign importation and the lack of good management of the local labour force were factors behind the failure of the Libyanization process and the continuous need for foreign brains and brawn in key sectors for a long time to come.

  In a country like Libya, with an insufficient mix of skills and marginal and uncertain oil revenues, the key to her development is the investment in her people through better education, more equitable income and infrastructure distribution, more efficient medical services, hygienic nutrition, decent housing, better use of people and more efforts in the improvement of female status. The recent sharp decline in oil prices is a hidden blessing to Libyans as it is expected to compel them to take a U-turn in their aspirations and expectations and look more seriously to the problems of the labour force.

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