According to data published by the Egyptian ministry of employment and emigration, the unemployment rate in Egypt has declined to 9% from 11.2% a couple of years ago. However, the World Bank estimates the rate of unemployment in Egypt at 22% and the International Monetary Fund’s figure for unemployment in Egypt is 18%. The International Labor Organization estimates the unemployment at 23% while the central bureau of statistics in Egypt estimates it at 12%.
According the ministry’s figures, there are 23 million Egyptians currently employed.
In an article in the Egyptian weekly, al-Ahram, one writer expresses his frustration with the current labor situation: "The drowning of 184 young Egyptian men off Italian coasts didn't make waves in this country. It happened off Libya. It happened off Greece. And it keeps happening. Over and over, our young men brave death to get away... there is a reason. There is a well of poverty and despair so deep that impels them to act so insanely."
al-Sharq, Qatar, November 9, 2007 ; al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt, November 8-14, 2007