Although Egypt has made significant progress toward reviving economic growth, unemployment remains persistently high and a substantial rise in job opportunities is still needed to absorb the increasingly expanding labor force, with the challenge to absorb around 700,000 new entrants to the labor market annually. Other labor-related problems include low female participation, excessive government employment, a high percentage of people in non-decent employment, low productivity and wages, and high unemployment among youth and women. In addition, there is a significant mismatch between available skills and labor market requirements. Last but not least, weak social protection programs preclude the generation of enough decent work opportunities. This new collection of studies addresses these issues and more, with analyses of the current situation and future prospects, and recommendations for change going forward.
Magda Kandil is the current Executive Director and Director of Research at the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES). She has held various positions at the International Monetary Fund, including Advisor to the Executive Director and Senior Economist, and visiting scholar at the IMF Institute & Research Department.