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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Unemployment rises to 9.2% in April as coronavirus lockdown bites

Unemployment rises to 9.2% in April as coronavirus lockdown bites: Egypt’s unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in April from 7.5% in the second quarter of 2019 as the government’s precautionary measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus hit the economy, Reuters reports, citing Capmas figures. Data released by the state statistical agency on Thursday showed that unemployment continued to fall before the onset of the pandemic, declining to 7.7% in the first quarter of the year from 8.1% a year earlier. Capmas stopped collecting data in the middle of March, when the Madbouly government ordered closed most nonessential government offices.

Expect the number of jobless to continue to rise in May as the lockdown measures extended into their second month. Where it goes from there is anyone's guess, but the EBRD’s Bassem Kamar told us last week that unemployment figures in Egypt should normalize to 2019 levels by the middle of next year.

Many countries are grappling with soaring unemployment figures as emergency measures taken in response to the pandemic wreak havoc on businesses. The US’ record-breaking 14.7% unemployment rate at April’s end has far surpassed the speed at which the economy has shed jobs at any other time in the country’s history, including the Great Depression.

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