Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced, on Tuesday, that the country’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in Q1 (Q1) of 2021, compared to 7.2% in Q4 of 2020.
The data was published as part of the agency’s results of its labour force research for Q1 of 2021, and reflected a decrease of 0.3% from the same quarter of the previous year.
CAPMAS attributed this increase to the second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that arrived in Egypt in February 2021.
According to the agency, the estimated size of the workforce stood at 29.284 million individuals, compared to 29.965 million individuals during the previous quarter, reflecting a decrease of 2.3%. The urban labour force reached 13.034 million individuals, while in the countryside it reached 16.250 million individuals.
The size of the workforce for males reached 24.185 million individuals, while females reached 5.099 million individuals.
The reason for this decrease is due to the decrease in both the number of workers and the number of unemployed. It was due to the Egyptian state reinforcing some precautionary measures and issuing a decision to reduce the number of workers at the beginning of the pandemic’s second wave in the country.
CAPMAS said that the number of unemployed registered 2.155 million unemployed, or 7.4% of the total work force (1,343 million males, 812,000 females) compared to 2.166 million unemployed in Q4 of 2020. This noted a decrease of 11,000 unemployed, or 0.5%, and a decrease of 81,000 unemployed for the same quarter of the previous year, down by 3.6%.
The urban unemployment rate decreased to 11.1% of the total labour force in urban areas, while it was 11.4% in Q4 of 2020, compared to 11.1% in the same quarter of the previous year.
Meanwhile, the rural unemployment rate increased to 4.4% of the total labour force in the countryside, while it was 4.0% in Q4 of 2020, compared to 5.1% in Q4 of 2019.
CAPMAS added that the number of workers reached 27.129 million, while it was 27.799 million in the previous quarter, reflecting a decrease of 2.4%. The number of urban workers reached 11.590 million, while the number of workers in the countryside reached 15.539 million workers.
This was due to the state reinforcing some precautionary measures, and issuing a decision to reduce the number of workers with the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Regarding the most important economic activities that lost the largest number of workers, the agency said that the agricultural and forest exploitation activity lost 443,000 workers during Q1 of 2021.
Wholesale and retail trade activities lost 437,000 workers during Q1 of 2021, while the industrial activity lost 56,000. Meanwhile, the water supply and drainage networks activity lost 43,000, and the public administration and defence activity lost 42,000 workers during Q1 of 2021.
CAPMAS pointed out that the agricultural and fishing activity achieved the largest percentage of workers’ participation in economic activities, as the number of workers in this activity reached 5.273 million workers. This reflected 4.413 million males and 860,000 females, and accounted for 19.4% of the total workers, occupying first place in the activities.
The number of workers in the wholesale and retail trade activity reached 3.915 million workers (3.316 million males, 599,000 females), or 14.4% of the total employed. The number of workers in construction and building reached 3.770 million workers (3.746 million males, 24,000 females), representing 13.9% of the total employed.
The number of workers in the manufacturing activity reached 3.506 million workers (3.232 million males, 274,000 females), or 12.9% of the total employed. The number of workers in transport activities reached 2.448 million workers (2.414 million males, 34,000 females), accounting for 9.0% of the total employees.