By Tamjid Alkohali
Unlike the rest of the year, in the holy month of Ramadan, people care more about their food because they are fasting during the day and need to offset their body with vitamins. However, this attention on health is considered a burden for many citizens because it requires a big budget.
The problem is compounded with the low level of per capita income and the increase in the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate among young people in Yemen is 60%. Fortunately, Ramadan comes with many job opportunities for those poor young who are looking for a job during the year. These jobs help many people to face this burden during Ramadan.
According to economists, the seasonal markets, which appear in Ramadan, attract a huge number of unemployed people, which raises the level of people’s income during Ramadan.
The popular markets attract labor forces such as Zomor, Hasabah, Jamal, Haeel, and Bab al-Yemen at the top.
Economists emphasized that the flow of people to the markets doubles the efforts of the shops owners which make them need more manpower in order to meet the needs of their customers.
Abdulqawi Al-Asami, an owner of a grocery store in the Shomelah area, said that the number of workers in his grocery store is three. However, in Ramadan, a lot of customers come to the store so he is forced to hire another three workers, pointing out that the workers leave the store after Ramadan.
Ahmed Al-Reemi, one of the workers in the grocery store, said that he graduated from school three years ago. However, he couldn’t study in the University for many reasons; the main reason is the deteriorated economic situation of his family.
“I don’t have enough money to join the university. I feel useless because I can’t help my father who bears all the house expenses,” he added.
Al-Reemi couldn’t find a permanent job but he works in the grocery store every Ramadan. “Actually, the owner of the grocery store doesn’t hesitate to invite me to work with him during Ramadan,” he said.
The high demand in Ramadan isn’t only for food, but also for clothes, especially with the coming of Eid. All people buy new clothes for their children for Eid.
This is emphasized by Alhaji Ali Al-Amrani, the owner of a clothes shop in old Sana’a. Al-Amrani said that every Ramadan he needs more workers. If he doesn’t bring additional workers, he will not able to market all his goods and they will not be sold.
One of the workers in Al-Amrani’s shop named Abdul Jalil said that he is a teacher in a private school. When the school year ends, he stops working at the school and stops getting salary as well. He remains jobless until Ramadan and then he goes to find job in the clothes shops and every Ramadan he finds a job because most of the owners shops need workers.
The job opportunities are not limited to the shops and malls only. There are many unemployed people who create their own small businesses such as the sale of the Juices, sweets, Samosas, or any other kind of food that are related to Ramadan. In general, Ramadan is considered a livelihood season because it provides jobs for the many unemployed people through many temporary occupations.