CAIRO: The official unemployment rate in Egypt rose to 10.9 percent in FY2005-2006 compared with 10.5 percent in FY2004-2005, according to recent reports from the Ministry of Finance.
Economists say the figures weigh heavily on the opportunities for economic growth, as they represent a waste of human resources that otherwise would contribute to higher GDP growth rates.
Measured by production factor cost at current prices, Egypt s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 14 percent in FY2005-2006 compared with a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
But Fakhry Al-Feqi, professor of economics at Cairo University, notes that real GDP growth recorded only 6 percent in FY2005-2006, after taking into account inflation readjustment.
Annual inflation rates in the Egyptian economy surged to 12.4 percent in December 2006 from 3.1 percent in December 2005, according to the Ministry of Finance s figures.
Professor Al-Feqi notes that economic growth in 2006 is much lower than the potential of the Egyptian economy. Had the Egyptian government succeeded to curb unemployment, growth rates would have soared to 10 percent in FY2005-2006, he argues.