DAMASCUS: The government of violence-hit Syria plans on creating 25,000 new public sector jobs this year for youths as unemployment spikes amid continued violence, official media reported Tuesday.
The government "approved plans to create 25,000 jobs in the current year," state-run SANA news agency said.
According to official statistics unemployment in 2011 reached 14.9 percent, up from 8.6 percent the previous year.
The ministry of social affairs says 300,000 people have applied for jobs in the public sector since the beginning of 2012 although there are only 77,000 positions available.
The government must spend 700 billion Syrian pounds ($10.7 billion/8.7 billion euros) to accommodate 300,000 new employees in public sector jobs, the ministry says.
Syria's public sector employs 30.1 percent of the active population, according to official estimates.
The violence that has hit Syria since March 2011 and the resulting Western sanctions have had a drastic impact on the country's economy. Tourism has been decimated and the government says oil revenues have been slashed by nearly $4 billion.