Statistics suggest that over 35 per cent of Egyptian labour is working in vulnerable jobs, lacking social insurance, health insurance and unionisation
The total index of labour demand for Egypt workers declined by 43 per cent in June compared to the same period in 2010, according to data published by the Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) of Egypt's Cabinet. The index registered a decline of only 8 per cent compared to the previous month.
The index calculates the demand for Egyptian workers based only on employment announcements in national newspapers and the national employment bulletin. According to the IDSC, job announcements in the national employment bulletin declined by 73.3 per cent in June, compared to the same period in 2010, falling to some 6,000 job offers from more than 23,000 June 2010.
However, the number of people recruited through the national employment bulletin, on which the statistics are based on, didn’t show any drastic change. Last June only 2085 persons found work with the help of the bulletin versus 2096 June last year. The number of job announcements in the bulletin seems quite irrelevant; however, it is the only available unemployment indicator in the country published on a monthly basis. Official employment figures are only released on an annual basis.
The index details show, however, that local demand - as well as demand by other countries for Egyptian workers - both fell by almost 55 per cent, compared to June 2010. On a monthly basis, local demand fell by 11 per cent and other countries’ demand by only 0.3 per cent.
Despite these dreary statistics, the Social Fund for Development and the Local Development Fund provided more positive employment numbers. They deducted that from the projects they funded that there is a rise of 32.6 per cent and 155 per cent, respectively. Between the two funds, they created more than 26,300 job opportunities last June, compared to less than 19,000 in June 2010.
The index, however, only captures demand for formal employment in the private or public sector. Therefore, it is unlikely to reflect the reality of the labour situation in Egypt, considering that many work in an informal sector.
Informal employment, which constitutes almost 75 per cent of total workers, is generally not advertised in newspapers. Statistics suggest that over 35 per cent of Egyptian labour is working in vulnerable jobs, lacking social insurance, health insurance and unionisation.