New data shows troubled early 2011 for Egypt's job market

Ahram Online, Wednesday 30 Mar 2011

Numbers employed, demand and advertised posts all drop in February

Job opportunities in Egypt continued a yearlong slide in February with vacancies advertised in local newspapers dropping by well over half compared to January, according to new figures from the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration.

While the data just published in a report by the government's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) shows a 62.6 per cent rise between January and February in jobs noted in the National Bulletin of Employment, local and external opportunities posted in the press over the same period fell markedly. Many Egyptian jobs are announced in more informal ways to save costs on advertising, suggesting the broader picture may be more bleak.

February's employment figures also show a 39.8 per cent drop from January in the number newly employed in private and investment sectors, with 5,120 workers taken on in Egypt's most turbulent month in decades. The report, however, shows annual growth of 104 per cent, a sign of healthy official recruitment between February 2010 and January 2011.

Demand for Egyptian labour also fell in February, down to 86 index points from 201 in January. IDSC figures use a simple index, taking 2002 as the base year. The annual fall is significant too, with the Feb 2011 index far below the 393 points posted for the same time the previous year. Internal and external demand for Egyptian workers both fell dramatically.

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