Egypt unemployment drops to 8.9% in Q4 of 2018, compared to 10% in Q4 2017: PM Madbouly

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Feb 2019

Egyptian workers
Egyptian workers carry out restoration work inside al-Zahir Baybars Mosque, an architectural landmark in old Cairo, Egypt October 16, 2018. REUTERS

Egypt's unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2018, compared to 10 percent in the same period the previous year, a statement by the office of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday.

The statement highlighted that the rate was 9.9 percent for 2018 and 11.3 percent in 2017.

The PM's statement came on the same day as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that by the end of this fiscal year, Egypt is expected to see a drop in unemployment of down to 8.3 percent.

According to state statistic agency CAPMAS, about 3 million Egyptians are currently unemployed, 75.2 percent of whom are 15 to 29 years old.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has pledged to reduce unemployment during his tenure by attracting private sector and foreign investments to boost the economy.

In recent years, the gvernement has spent billions of dollars on mega projcts such as the new electric power stations, new Suez Canal, massive highways and a new administrative capital, which provided employement to tens of thousands of Egyptians. 

Since 2014, the government has been implementing a set of economic reforms to lower budget deficits, including floating the local currency, cutting energy subsidies and putting in place a Value-Added Tax.

The IMF has lauded Egypt's reform program, making available on Monday the fifth tranche of a $12 billion loan signed in 2016.

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