PM Mahlab and the Governor of Alexandria visiting Mahtat El-Raml (Video: Ahram)
“FYI, The government has no jobs,” Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab told a young man who asked for a job on Friday evening during a visit to the coastal city of Alexandria.
A video of the incident has gone viral among Egyptian social media users.
Alexandria governor Hany El-Messiery, who accompanied the premier at the time, consoled the man by telling him that the governorate provides loans for youth to start their own projects, asking him to head to any district municipality building in order to choose from 2,500 youth projects.
Premier Mahlab, Governor Messiery and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry were visiting downtown Alexandria to review renovations to the historic Raml Square.
Egypt's unemployment rate rose from 9 percent in 2010 to 12.4 percent in 2011.
A whopping 77 percent of Egypt's unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 29.
Over 80 percent of unemployed people have at least a high school diploma and a third have a university degree.
Urban unemployment is significantly higher than in rural areas at 16.3 and 9.9 percent respectively.
Out of the approximately 24 million employed in Egypt, 62.5 percent are wage earners while 16 percent are self-employed.
In 2014, Egypt’s public sector employed up to 6.5 million people, out of a population of over 88 million, according to Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Unemployment in Egypt fell to 12.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from 13.4 percent the previous year, according to CAPMAS.