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Unemployment in Egypt Drops to 2011 levels

Unemployment in Egypt Drops to 2011 levels

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 13:30
Workers remove leather from a machine in the factory at El Robbiki Leather City in Badr City, east of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Unemployment rates in Egypt fell during the third quarter of 2017 registering the lowest rate since 2011’s first quarter, as national economic growth.

Egypt's unemployment rate had worsened with a popular uprising to oust former President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, rising from 8.9 % in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 11.9 in the first quarter of the following year.

However, unemployment fell to 12 % in the first three months of this year, its lowest level in more than five years, and then fell in the following months to 11.9 percent in the third quarter.

The economic growth in the country has been negatively affected by prolonged political instability after the former president stepped down, coupled with the mixed ripple effect of energy crises and global economic slowdown.

However, the International Monetary Fund’s forecasts reflect a relative recovery of the country's economy.

First, growth is expected to rise to 4.5% in the current fiscal year, from 4.1% in 2016 to 2017, and the fiscal year will begin on July 1 and end in June.

According to a statement issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the largest percentage of workers during the third quarter of 2017 was operating in the agriculture and fishing sector, which accounted for 21.4% of total employment.

The wholesale and retail trade sector accounted for 13.5% and the construction sector by 13.3%.

The manufacturing sector registered 12.5 % and the transport and storage sector by 8 %.

According to the latest data available on the Central Bank of Egypt website, economic growth in the period from 2016 to April 2017, the agriculture sector grew by 3.1%, the wholesale and retail sector by 4.7%, while the construction index grew by 8.5%. Manufacturing industries recorded the lowest growth rate among these sectors at 2.7 %.

But despite the fact that youth call for greater opportunities in the economy was one of the most demands at the January 2011 demonstrations, unemployment data for the third quarter of this year reflect the inability of economic growth to respond to these requests.

Statistics indicate that 79.5% of the total unemployed belong to the age group between 15 and 29 years old.

Recent data on the labor market in Egypt show that the majority of those unemployed are holders of intermediate and university degrees, amounting to 92.9%.

According to the Statistics Service, 40.6 % of the unemployed have university qualifications and above, and 52.3 % of those with intermediate qualifications.

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