About every two weeks, you hear about some episode in Germany involving some Tunisian immigrants, drug trafficking, or some German state government trying remove some Tunisians (sending them back home). It's a page two story for the most part. So, eventually....you ask yourself....what the heck is going wrong in Tunisia?
Well....here are some facts.
- Thirty-percent of Tunisia university graduates are having trouble finding any job. Tunisia virtually guarantees college to anyone, and everyone has this idea that a degree will guarantee a job (remember hearing that line in the US?).
- In 2012, Tunisia admitted that ten-percent of it's population was outside of the country, because there simply wasn't enough jobs for people. Their people....were among their chief exports, sadly.
- Women make up almost sixty-percent of the university-system graduates....but it's a male-dominated society....so most of these women (particularly those under the age of thirty) are finding dismal conditions for any job at all.
- It's hard to find any country in the Middle East or in Northern Africa.....which puts as much effort and resources into university operations. Yet the result? There's not enough jobs for these highly gifted or qualified individuals....thus....no real future unless you leave the country.
- At some point in 2011....they were actually near 18-percent unemployment. Over the past five years....they've edged this down to between 14 and 15 percent. If you are a young guy though....with no real education or job training....there's no market for people like you. So you end up on some street corner.....selling water melons.
- Oddly, one of the few positive areas of job potential is the IT area....writing code. Various companies utilize the young talent of Tunisia in this area.
- Another odd feature of the Tunisia job market is that they have potential for Call Centers.....which draw business from across the Middle East and North Africa.
- A decade ago....before all the hyped up terrorism....tourism was pumping around 7-percent of the national GDP, with almost 400,000 folks employed in some sector of tourism. All of that however....kinda fell as terrorism occurred and Europeans decided it just wasn't that safe anymore. This was the one country with a great climate, cheap labor, friendly people, and fantastic potential for tourism growth back a decade ago. If the terrorism hadn't occurred, you'd probably over 600,000 folks today, employed within the industry and plenty of future potential.
This is the sad reality of Tunisia. They had all this education plus-up, plenty of open territory for hotels and resorts, and within a short distance of three hours flying from any European capital. In a safe area, with no terrorism....you'd attract start-up potential, tons of tourists in search of a sunny week or two, and a place where you could hire a hundred qualified/capable/educated employees in a couple of days.
They could have been a winner....marketing themselves in dozens of ways and charming the Europeans into spending money easily.