Unemployment ravages Egypt’s battered economy

Youth play dominoes as government plays with their future

CAIRO - Egypt's jobless rate rose to 12.7 percent in 2012 from 12 percent in 2011 and nine percent in 2010, due to the economic crisis that followed the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, official figures showed on Tuesday.
The number of unemployed reach 3.4 million at the end of last year, said the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The number of people in employment reached 23.6 million out of a population of 84 million.
"The increase in the numbers of jobless people is due to the slowdown of economic growth in Egypt and in view of unstable political conditions in the wake of the January 25 revolution," CAPMAS said.
The figures do not take into account those employed in the informal sector.
The unrest that accompanied the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak caused a significant drop in revenue from the once-lucrative tourism industry.
Foreign reserves have plunged from $36 billion to $13 billion in two years, and the budget deficit is increasing.
President Mohamed Morsi's government has been negotiating a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, but the loan is subject to unpopular economic reforms that could lead to further price hikes.
The IMF said on Monday that talks on the financing package had made progress.