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Q3 2017 sees slight decrease in unemployment rate

Egypt’s unemployment rate witnessed a “limited decrease” in the third quarter of 2017, according to a statement issued by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Wednesday. Unemployment reached 11.9 percent between July and September of this year, compared to 12.6 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

The agency said that the unemployment rate constitutes approximately 3.5 million people, 79.5 percent of which are youths, out of a total workforce of around 29.5 million.

These statistics also represent a decrease since the second quarter of 2017, when the unemployment rate measured 11.98 percent.

CAPMAS also stated that unemployment among men stands at 8.2 percent, compared to 24.4 percent among women. Geographically, unemployment is higher in urban areas, affecting 13.6 percent of the population compared to 10.6 percent in rural areas.

The recent figures can be attributed to “the flow of large numbers of university, higher and middle institute and technical diploma graduates into the labor market,” according to the agency, which has led to a slight increase in employment levels.

Wednesday’s report also highlighted that 92.9 percent of unemployed citizens have educational credentials beyond a secondary education; 40.6 percent being university degrees holders, and 52.3 percent with lower post-secondary degrees.

Egypt’s official unemployment figures, as calculated by CAPMAS, have been declining since 2013, when they hit 13.2 percent. In 2016, the rate stood at 12.5 percent. In March of of this year, Finance Minister Amr al-Garhy said that “the unemployment rate has been declining for a while as a result of more job opportunities being created through national projects being implemented.”

CAPMAS defines employment as anyone above the age of 15 using “their physical or mental effort in any economic activity connected to producing goods and services,” and unemployment as “those who are able to perform these activities, desire to perform them and are searching for them but do not find them.”

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