Egypt’s unemployment falls to 8.92 per cent in 2010: statistics body

Ahram Online, Sunday 1 May 2011

Figures for last year show an alarming jobless rate among university degree holders overshadowing a slight improvement in overall employment

Unemployment among Egyptian women is 5 times that among men. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.92 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, down from 9.4 per cent in the same period in 2009, according to a new report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics (CAPMAS).

Further figures show Egypt's labour force grew 3.7 per cent between 2009 and 2010 to reach 26.1 million, around a third of Egypt’s total population. Of this number, 2.351 million are unemployed.

The unemployment rate for men, who comprise three-quarters of the Egyptian workforce, is 4.6 per cent. For women it is 22.6 per cent.

Egyptian unemployment statistics are much debated, as official surveys often count those who do bouts of short-term, casual work as being fully employed.

Nine out of ten unemployed people in Egypt have some kind of educational qualification, with an astounding 40 per cent holding a university degree or above and more than half  a sub-university technical diploma.

Unemployment rates are highest amongst the younger segment of the population. Nearly one in two jobless Egyptians is between the age of 20 and 24, while one in four is between 25 and 29 years old.

The agriculture and fishing sectors employ 28.4 per cent of Egyptians, followed by 12 percent in manufacturing and 11 per cent each in construction and trade.

The CAMPAS report also showed relative stable economic dependency, with each working individual supporting two unemployed people.

With regards to working hours, the report showed that regularly employed males work approximately 47 hours per week while their female counterparts work 43 hours.

Employees in the domestic services sector recorded the longest working week -- 57 hours -- followed by those in the food service and hospitality industries who clock off after average weekly shifts of 53.5 hours.

Public sector employees recorded the lowest average working week: 46.5 hours.

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