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Egypt unemployment rate rises to 9.6%

August 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

Egyptians get tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through coronavirus-testing centre in Cairo, Egypt on 29 June 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Unemployment in Egypt has increased to 9.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 7.5 per cent in the same period last year, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported.

CAPMAS explained in a statement that the lockdown measures imposed to confront the coronavirus pandemic, including the suspension of schools, flights, partial closure of shops and the bans imposed on transportation have all caused unemployment to rise.

According to the statement, the workforce has decreased by eight per cent during the second quarter reaching 26.689 million people, compared to the 29.008 million recorded in the previous quarter, while the number of unemployed persons has increased by 480,000, reaching 2.574 million.

The statement expected the COVID-19 crisis to increase poverty rates in Egypt from about 30 to 40 per cent.

READ: Egypt’s isolation hospitals reopen in preparation for second coronavirus wave

During the coronavirus lockdown, the government said it would take a 20 per cent pay cut and give workers 500 Egyptian pounds ($32) a month to help them through this time, but many say they have not seen this money whilst others had no idea how to apply to the online scheme.

A third of Egyptians live below the poverty line and survive on less than $2 a day. Some 12.5 million more are expected to fall into this category as a result of the COVID-19 response.