Egypt’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, compared with 7.7 percent in the previous quarter of the year, official statistics agency CAPMAS announced on Monday.
CAPMAS said in a statement that the rise in unemployment is due to the virus’ outbreak and partial lockdown measures, including a nighttime curfew and the suspension of flights.
The unemployment rate recorded during the second quarter of the year is up by 1.9 percent compared with the first quarter, and by 2.1 percent compared with the corresponding quarter last year.
CAPMAS said the labour force shrunk by 8 percent during the second quarter of 2020 to reach 26.689 million employed individuals, down from 29.008 million in the first quarter.
The number of unemployed individuals reached 2.574 million in the second quarter, up from 2.236 million in the first quarter of the year. It rose by 480,000 unemployed individuals, compared with the same quarter in 2019, representing a 22.9 percent increase.
Unemployment among males recorded 8.5 percent of the total workforce in the second quarter of 2020, up from 4.5 percent in the first quarter, CAPMAS said, adding that unemployment among females hit 16.2 percent, down from 21.9 percent in the first quarter.
CAPMAS said that coronavirus has severely hit jobs in the retail and wholesale sectors, which lost 624,000 jobs in the second quarter of the year.
It has also taken its toll on manufacturing industries, food and accommodation, transportation, and construction.
The International Monetary Fund forecast in April Egypt’s unemployment rate to hit 10.3 percent in 2020, and 11.6 percent in 2021 amid the COVID-19 crisis, compared to 8.8 percent in 2019.
According to Trading Economics (TE), Egypt’s unemployment rate is expected to hit 10 percent by the end of the current quarter, estimating it to stand at 7.2 percent in 12 months’ time.
In the long-term, TE projected the rate to trend around 8 percent in 2021 and 7.6 percent in 2022.