Egypt unemployment falls to 12.8 percent in first quarter

Egypt's unemployment rate fell to 12.8 percent in the first three months of 2015, compared to 13.4 percent in the same period a year ago. (File photo: AFP)

Egypt's unemployment rate fell to 12.8 percent in the first three months of 2015, compared to 13.4 percent in the same period a year ago, the government statistics agency said on Sunday, citing an improved economic outlook.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has pledged to reduce joblessness to 10 percent over the next five years.

The former army chief has brought a degree of stability to the Arab world's most populous country since he toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Analysts believe actual unemployment may be higher than the official figures.

Statistics agency CAPMAS cited an "improvement in economic activities" as the reason for the lower unemployment rate.

But a survey this month showed that business activity in Egypt's non-oil private sector has contracted for the past four months.

Government reforms and billions of dollars from Gulf allies have boosted investor confidence, but Egypt faces pressure to deliver more jobs for its rapidly growing population of about 90 million.

The labour force grew 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to 27.7 million, less than one-third of the total population, CAPMAS said. About two-thirds of the 3.5 million unemployed Egyptians are youth, it said.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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