File photo: Potential going up in smoke? Egypt's cafes are a popular gathering place for long-term unemployed (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's unemployment rate inched up 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, amounting to 13.4 percent of the country's total labour force, according to the state-run statistics body CAPMAS.
CAPMAS's quarterly report, released on Saturday, attributed the increase in unemployment to an overall slowdown in economic activities during the period between July and September.
Egypt's planning minister Ashraf El-Araby stated in September that he was not optimistic about growth prospects for the first quarter of the current 2013/14 fiscal year, which began in July.
"It is normal to have slow growth in the first three months of every fiscal year," El-Araby said. "But in this fiscal year we will see poorer growth due to a number of events that may have had negative impacts."
These events include the Islamic month of Ramadan, a new transitional government, the dispersal of two sit-ins in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and the imposition of a state of emergency and a curfew, El-Araby clarified.
According to CAPMAS, the number of working Egyptians reached 23.6 million in the third quarter of 2013, with the total labour force registering at 27.2 million.
The number of unemployed increased by 30,000 in Q3 2013, resulting in some 3.6 million jobless Egyptians.
The unemployment rate among male workers reached 9.9 percent, while among female it was 25.1 percent.
Roughly 70.8 percent of job seekers are aged 15 - 29 years, compared to 74 percent in the previous quarter.
Job seekers in urban areas swelled by 0.7 percent during the July to September quarter, reaching 16.7 percent.
The unemployment rate in Egypt's rural areas shrank to 10.8 percent in Q3, from 11.3 in Q2 of the current year.