Youth aspirations and unemployment durations in Egypt

Today’s morning session at the ‘The Egyptian Labor Market In A Revolutionary Era: Results From The 2012 Survey’ conference discussed two papers showcasing 2 contributing angles to the Egyptian labor market: Youth preferences to jobs and unemployment duration. Both papers were presented during the morning session.

Queuing up for government jobs

Despite the decline in job openings in the public sector, and that the private sector was unable to create enough job opportunities for the Egyptian youth; the study ‘Young People’s Job Aspirations in Egypt and the Continued Preference for a Government Job‘  by Ghada Barsoum (American University in Cairo ) compares those working in the government to those in the private sector. Barsoum finds that the government remains the employer of choice for new entrants to the labor market, particularly young women as opposed to private sector which provides the young with limited access to work contracts and social insurance contributory schemes.

What shapes unemployment in Egypt
The other paper ‘Unemployment in Egypt’ by Samer Kherfi (American university in Sharja), looks at the determinants of unemployment including individual as well as environmental characteristics. Kherfi finds that women tend to stay unemployed for longer periods. He also concludes that education lengthens the duration of unemployment for Egyptian labor markets reasoning that to the high wage expectancy.  More conclusions and policy recommendations by Kherfi are available through the video below.


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