Egypt's official jobless rate is contining to rise, hitting 12.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, state data showed on Monday.
Figures from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) show 3.4 million unemployed people in Egypt at the end of March 2012, 62,000 more than in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
The total jobless figure is around 8 per cent higher than for the first three months of 2011.
Urban unemployment is offically around 16 per cent, with the rate nearer 10 per cent in rural areas.
There is also a marked difference in terms of gender; the jobless rate for men is 9.3 per cent, versus 23.8 per cent for women.
Egypt's official employment statistics have long been criticised as an inaccurate reflection of the country's economic reality.
Experts cited in 2011 by the Global Policy Network, an independent research group, said Egyptian employment could be 17 per cent if not much higher.
In April, the Arab Labor Organisation predicted that unemployment in the Arab world will reach at least 16 per cent in the wake of last year's uprisings.