CAIRO: Egypt’s unemployment rate declined to 12.8 percent for the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, compared to 13.4 percent in the same quarter in 2014, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced May 17.
Unemployed people have amounted to 3.5 million of Egypt’s total labor force (27.7 million people,) with a decrease of 152,000 unemployed people for the same quarter of 2014.
“The slight decrease in the unemployment rate is due to improvement in economic activities,” said CAPMAS.
Egypt’s unemployment rate slipped for the first time in three years to 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 13.3 percent in the preceding quarter, according to CAPMAS.
The unemployment rate has surged over the past four years due to the slowdown in Egypt’s economic activities, especially in labor-intensive activities like construction, agriculture and tourism after the January 25 Revolution.
In October 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Egypt’s unemployment rate surge to 13.9 percent in 2015, up from 13.6 percent in 2014, according to the fund’s semi-annual World Economic Outlook report.
The fund, however, had a more optimistic outlook in its first major assessment of Egypt’s economy since 2011 last week, predicting growth to reach 3.8 percent in 2014/2015 and to rise “steadily” to 5 percent over the medium term.
In an attempt to curb a soaring unemployment, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi launched the new Suez Canal project Aug. 5. The labor-intensive project aims to dig a new 72-km branch of the Suez Canal at a total cost of $4 billion alongside the existing waterway.