Egypt's unemployment slows in Q2/2014 to 13.3 pct

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Aug 2014

Unemployment in Egypt drops slightly, but Egypt remains far from the growth rates necessary to match job creation to its growing labour force

Egyptians relax outside a cafe in Cairo, Egypt (Photo:AP)

Egypt’s unemployment rate shrank slightly in the second quarter (Q2) of 2014 by 0.1 percent to register 13.3 percent, state-run statistics body CAPMAS announced Saturday.

According to CAPMAS, there are 3.7 million jobless Egyptian nationwide. The country's labour force totals 27.6 million people.

Almost 70 percent of unemployed people were aged between 15 and 29, holding diplomas or university degrees.

The CAPMAS quarterly report released Saturday said that the persistence of high unemployment reflects an ongoing slowdown in economic activity, especially in productive sectors such as industry, tourism and construction.

The World Bank said in a report earlier in August that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region needs to grow at 6.5 per cent annually in order to provide 30 million jobs over seven years in the period between 2014 and 2020, so as to reduce high unemployment rates in the region.

According to World Bank estimates, countries in the MENA region can generate 24 million jobs over the seven years through economic growth rates of five per cent per year, stopping unemployment rates rising.

Egypt’s economy grew 2.5 percent in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2013/14, due to higher investment rates that rose 1.11 percent in the period between January and March following the governmental economic stimulus packages.

According to statistics of Egypt's Ministry of Planning, the country saw total implemented investment in the first three months of 2014 amounting to LE64.5 billion, up 12.1 percent from the same period of the last year.

Egypt’s interim government launched two stimulus packages in August 2013 and February 2014, worth LE30 billion and LE34 billion respectively, in an attempt to reinvigorate the ailing economy.

When Egypt grew at an 5.1 percent economic growth rate in 2010, the unemployment rate was nine percent.

Egypt's urban unemployment fell to 15 percent in Q2/2014 from 16.5 percent in the three months before, while in rural Egypt unemployment swelled by 0.9 percent Q-o-Q from 11 percent in the period between January and March.

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