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Egypt’s Unemployment Falls to Lowest Levels in 14 Years

Egypt’s Unemployment Falls to Lowest Levels in 14 Years

Tuesday, 9 February, 2021 - 11:30
A man sells candyfloss on a bridge over the Nile in Cairo. (Reuters)

Egypt’s unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in FY 19/20, its lowest in 14 years, after it recorded 13.9 percent in the previous fiscal year, announced the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Hala el-Saeed.

In 2016, Egypt floated its currency as part of an economic reform program that Cairo pursued to overcome the budget deficit and imbalances in the economic sectors.

During her statement to the parliament, the minister pointed out that Egypt’s inflation rate fell to 7.3 percent in the first quarter of FY 20/21, compared to 9.6 percent in Q4 of FY 19/20, while the annual unemployment rate dropped from 13 percent in 2014 to 7.9 percent in 2019.

Said confirmed the decrease in Egypt’s poverty rate to 29.7 percent, for the first time since 1999, compared to 32.5 percent in FY 2017/18, as the poverty rate declined across the country.

The decline was greater in rural areas of Lower Egypt, reflecting a decrease of 4.73 percent, followed by the rural areas of Upper Egypt at 3.79 percent.

“This is one of the fruits of the serious reform steps taken by the Egyptian state,” Said noted, adding that since November 2016, this has strengthened the Egyptian economy and its ability to confront crises.

Public investments increased by 66 percent in general during FY 18/19-20/21 compared to the previous three years, which resulted in the implementation of many development initiatives, according to the minister.

Public investments in major sectors, such as infrastructure, transportation and electricity, amounted to about EGP 500 billion, 32 percent of public investments and 20 percent growth compared to the three preceding years.

The minister added that a growth rate of 5.6 percent was achieved in the first half of 19/20 before the repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic were felt.

Despite the crisis, the economy achieved a growth rate of 3.6 percent during FY 19/20, making Egypt one of a limited number of countries that achieved positive growth amid the pandemic. It was projected to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in FY 19/20 and 6 percent in FY 20/21, she revealed.

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