Is 2010 looking any good on the local Job Market?

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Early 2009 the financial slowdown affected growth plans which resulted in an obvious rise in unemployment in Egypt and the Gulf, hence has been a pressure point on the government linked to the decline in economic growth. Latest reports allude that a “slight” improvement of the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2009.

“The only way to decrease unemployment in the country is through investment”, explains Magdy Sobhy, an economist at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “It was 8.4 % in the second quarter of 2008 after which it started increasing in the beginning of the financial year of 2009 until it reached 9.4 % and dropped to 9.2% in the third quarter of 2009”, Sobhy adds, “foreign investment in Egypt last year has decreased as well as investments from the private sector and the government tried to make up for that by investing itself. Tourism is strongly linked to the world recession and if tourism starts to flourish, unemployment will sure decline as there will be growth rates. Local and foreign investments declined in 2009 and foreign investments reached 13 billion dollars as it was only 8 billion before the crisis”.

The government is creating job opportunities in infrastructure to get rid of unemployment, but as soon as the projects are completed the same scenario repeats itself. It is said that the latest decline in unemployment is due to the governmental effort to find job opportunities for citizens.

A lot of young males and females pursued the Gulf working temptation, especially in the booming real estate sector came back home in 2009 with shattered dreams. “I went to Dubai for a great job offer in the field of engineering two years ago and I came back home at the beginning of 2009 with another group of young Egyptians and I haven’t found a job until today”, tells Hazem Maher, 27. Employees who worked in reputable real estate companies in Egypt before leaving were devastated when they packed their bags returning home from the Gulf or when they were downsized, “I used to work at DAMAC here in Egypt and when the recession began, I lost my job. I started a new job a couple of months ago but in the advertising field”, explains Abdel-Rahman, 25.

Sally Gohar, Portal Development Manager at Career Mideast.com states that employers have slightly started to activate their vacancies online “the situation is getting better than before, employers are starting to ask for job seekers, especially in Finance and IT”.

This slight decline in the unemployment rate is a positive indicator of economic growth and that the recession has passed and that 2010 should be the way up again, slowly but surely.

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