Unemployment in Jordan has always been discussed in the limelight, analysed, subject of brainstorming and sometimes an instrument for blaming the government or the private sector. Unemployment is currently at the top of the economic and social agenda, especially after rising to 14.6 per cent during the first quarter of this year, 1.5 percentage points over the rate of last year. Since 2008, the highest rate unemployment reached has been 14.6 per cent. The figure does not account for the unemployed who gave up looking for jobs, and who are estimated to form 4 per cent of the total labour force. If they were added, that would raise the unemployment rate to 18.6 per cent. The government and public sector are no more tapped as a source of additional jobs, having employed over 40 per cent of the labour force, some unnecessarily, so much so that reformers are repeatedly calling for a smaller government with higher efficacy and competence. In short, a smarter government. The private sector as a source of jobs is doing its job to the extent practical for its business. It should not be blamed. It created many more jobs than demanded. It continues to generate tens of thousands of new jobs every year, even in this present state of economic recession. Jobs that are taken by non-Jordanian guest workers exceed by five times the number of unemployed Jordanians. There is, therefore, no justification for blaming the private sector for a failure to create jobs, or for blaming the government for the rise of unemployment while the Jordanian economy is providing jobs to three-quarters-of-a-million of Egyptian labourers, one-quarter-of-a-million Syrian labourers and over 100,000 African and Eastern personnel, despite the fact that, in theory, Jordanians should enjoy priority. The problem is that most unemployed Jordanians are educated. They are averse to the kind of jobs that Egyptians, Syrians and others find acceptable. Many of the unemployed Jordanians opt to stay at home, awaiting the chance of getting a “respectable” job in the civil service. No wonder that tens of thousands of jobs applications are accumulated at the government employment bureau. They wait for a chance that may not come about. The Ministry of Labour is under pressure but cannot generate jobs. It can impose priority for national job seekers, and that is more than enough. It is OK for Jordan to remain open to Arab workers in the same way that Arab countries are open for Jordanian expatriates, provided of course that local workers enjoy priority. There is a possibility that some Jordanian workers may accept to replace non-Jordanians in many jobs. This is established by the fact that replacement did work in the case of cleaners at the Greater Amman Municipality when certain attractive conditions were met.