Egypt’s Unemployment Rate Drops As Its Economy Regains Steam

By  |  March 5, 2019

Egypt’s unemployment rate has dropped to pre-revolution levels in the wake of the North African country’s economic rejuvenation alongside an increase in national development projects that hire thousands of young Egyptians.

February 14, the state-run Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics released a report which revealed that the country’s unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in Q4 2018 compared to the 10 percent in Q3 2018 and 11.3 percent in Q4 2017.

The report also said that the entire labor force stands at no less than 28 million, with 22.7 million males while the females have the balance. Meanwhile, the number of the unemployed was put at 2.5 million, with 1.45 million being males and the remainder being females.

It is believed that out of the many reasons the improvement is happening, the drop in unemployment rate is positively factored by job fairs that have been organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower to provide employment opportunities for youths in the private sector.

Two months ago, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi introduced an initiative that will provide a more substantial life for Egyptians by improving sector conditions. The Ministry of Manpower initiated several job fairs as part of the scheme, starting with Giza governorate, followed by Ismailia, Asyut, Minya, Beni Suef and Menoufia. While thousands are being employed, the initiative looks to launch other job fairs in the rest of the country’s urbanites.

Since January, the Egyptian government has launched no less six job fairs in the private sector, providing approximately 70,000 job opportunities. While Egyptians are being put on significant payrolls, the initiatives also provide for healthcare improvement, village development and upgrading the quality of education in the underserved areas.

The leadership of the North African nation also provided loans to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises with labor and intensity. While numerous initiatives and financing programs have been launched to bolster small businesses, the country has been in the reception of millions and billions of supporting dollars from external investors and partners.

Per data released by the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), some programs covered all types of new SMEs, including industry, trade, livestock, poultry, crafts, fisheries, and many others. The data said that financing reached a maximum of USD 114,187 for service and trade enterprises and USD 285,469 for industrial and agricultural projects.

Banks also did their bit as part of an Initiative launched by the Central Bank of Egypt to support SMEs. The National Bank of Egypt offers loans between USD 2,850 and USD 285 K for industrial establishments and under USD 171 K for non-industrial establishments.

In a Jan. 25 statement, the International Monetary Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, said Egypt had made substantial progress as evident in the success achieved in macroeconomic stabilization.

“Its growth rate is now among the highest in the region, the budget deficit is on a declining trajectory, and inflation is on track to reach the Central Bank of Egypt’s target by the end of 2019. Unemployment has declined … and social protection measures have been expanded,” the statement read.

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