Egypt’s unemployment rate falls to 8.9%

Unemployment rate in Egypt fell to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, down by 1.1 percent compared to the third quarter’s rate of 10 percent and down by 2.4 percent from the same quarter of 2017.

An unemployment report by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS)  revealed a decline in the unemployment rate when compared to the total workforce. Among the males, there was a 6.4 percent decline and for females, the unemployment rate fell to 19.6 percent during the same period. With this, the size of the workforce reached 28.027 million people; including 22.686 million males and 5.341 million females which contributed 42.2 percent of economic activity. 

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the unemployment rate also dropped 1.1 percent from 10 percent in the third quarter of 2018. In the third quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate declined 1.9 percent, compared to the same quarter of 2017. Same applies for the first quarter which decreased by 1.4 percent, compared to 12 percent in the same period of 2017. 

Unemployment rate in Egypt averaged 10.87 percent from 1993 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 13.40 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and a record low of 8.10 percent in the second quarter of 1999.

Egypt’s Unemployment chart from 2016 to 2019

With Egypt’s Vision 2030, the country is looking to reduce unemployment from the current rate to 4 percent. The Finance Ministry also said that the unemployment rate is anticipated to reach 7.1 percent in June 2022, down from 9.9 percent in June 2018. 

The country’s Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed has also noted that Egypt aims to provide about 750,000 job opportunities in 2018/2019 by developing the absorptive capacity of the labour market to gradually provide 870,000 opportunities in 2021/2022. 

Agriculture and fishing activity accounted for the largest participation of those engaged in economic activities (5.469 million people were employed in both industries). This was followed by wholesale and retail trade with 3.392 million employed persons. Next is the construction and building activity with 3.275 million workers.