Decades of war, sanctions and civil strife have crippled the Iraqi economy. Placing the country on a sustainable economic growth path will require a sound industrial policy to promote new industries and reduce resource dependence. However, Iraq will continue to face obstacles to economic growth and political stability, and the oil sector is largely to blame due to the consequences of the natural resource curse (NRC). Reversing the NRC will require a greater focus on job creation and training to expediently transform the civilian population into a highly skilled workforce. In fact, the top priority of the Government of Iraq (GoI) is to create employment opportunities for the rapidly growing population One viable solution is implementing a government-sponsored job creation known as the employer of last resort (ELR) to provide jobs and apprenticeships to all who are willing and able to work. This has the potential to curb violence by giving the youth a productive role in society, placing the country on a path to achieve sustainable peace and promote economic development. A job creation program coupled with the implementation of East Asia’s prudent macroeconomic policies will diversify the Iraqi economy and improve social welfare.