Egypt sets minimum wage of $170 a month for public sector

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Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has set a minimum wage of 1,200 Egyptian pounds ($170) a month for workers in the public sector, to take effect from January, the state news agency said on Wednesday.

Some are concerned that setting a minimum wage may squeeze unskilled workers out of the market, swelling the ranks of the unemployed in the Arab world's most populous nation.

The government has come under pressure to work towards a fairer society in the country of 85 million after a revolution in 2011 that toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.

Wages for the private sector will be discussed later, the prime minister was quoted as saying.

Egypt's economy has been hurt by more than two years of economic and political instability.

Gross domestic product grew a tepid 2 percent in the year to June 30 - far too slow to make an impact on youth unemployment, estimated at over 20 percent.

($1 = 6.8933 Egyptian pounds)

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