Cairo — Egypt's unemployment rate increased slightly in the third quarter of 2016 to reach 12.6 percent up from 12.5 percent in the second quarter; an increase of 80,000 unemployed people, the official statistics agency said on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the number of unemployed people stood at 3.6 million, with an increase of 80,000 compared to the previous quarter.
Egypt's unemployment rate had eased slightly in the second quarter to 12.5 percent compared to 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
The agency attributes the third quarter's slightly higher rate of unemployment to the inflow of new graduates in that quarter (April-June). A part of those graduates join the labour market as workers and job seekers while the other part remains outside the labour force for reasons that include military conscription for male graduates, marriage, or pursuing post-graduate studies.
Egypt's labour force is estimated at 28.8 million, representing a 10 percent increase compared to the second quarter of this year and a 2.9 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year.
CAPMAS reported that 8.7 percent of the male labour force is unemployed, up from 8.5 percent during the second quarter of 2016. The unemployment rate among the female labour force also inched to 25.9 percent, as opposed to 24.9 percent during the same period last year.
Around 80 percent of those unemployed belong to the youth segment, aged between 15 and 29, and the educated segment make up the majority of the unemployed; representing 88.4 percent, according to CAPMAS.
The agency reported a lower rate of unemployment in rural than in urban areas; 11.4 percent of the rural labour force, as opposed to 11.2 percent during the previous quarter. The unemployment rate in urban areas, however, reached 14.2 percent of the urban labour force in the third quarter compared to 14.1 percent in the previous quarter.
Egypt suffers from a relatively high unemployment rate and has been struggling to restore economic growth since a 2011 uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian government aims to slash the unemployment rate to less than 10 percent in 2018.