The Egyptian Labor Market: Facts and Prospects - A Focus on Gender and Economic Vulnerability - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Conference highlights

The study of labor market behaviors and dynamics is a central part of Egypt’s development process and the creation of new jobs. Since good quality data is the basis for any sound scientific research, the Economic Research Forum has invested time and effort in carrying out the Egyptian labor market survey over the past 20 years. The Economic Research Forum conducted four survey rounds in 1998, 2006, 2012 and recently 2018, in collaboration with CAPMAS.

The 2018 Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey measures several indicators related to employment, labor market activity, household economic status and property, education, health, marriage, family formation and migration. The survey also measures indicators of employment instability, mental health, disability, self-belief, women’s empowerment, food security, hazardous work, community infrastructure, housing costs, agricultural livelihoods, and coping strategies for traumatized households.

The Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey 2018 included a sample of 15,746 households representing 61,231 individuals. 85% of the 12,060 households visited in the 2012 survey were re-visited, and the survey team was able to visit 82% of the 4,598 split households. Furthermore, in order to study the degree of economic vulnerability, a new sample of 2000 households that oversamples the poorest villages in the country, with a response rate of 98% among these households.

Using this wealth of data, the Economic Research Forum is producing a new book for the sequential Labor Market Panel Survey series. This book seeks to study the evolution of the labor market in Egypt from 2012 to 2018 and analyze it from a gender perspective and the degree of vulnerability to economic changes.

Conference objectives and Setting

The conference aims at providing a platform for the dissemination of results of the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey 2018 and discussing the impact of these results on public policies with decision-makers and experts from academia, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.

The two-day conference will cover the following aspects:

  • The first day deals with the topics of jobs and gender, starting the day with the opening session, which presents an overview of the ELMPS 2018 and the evolution of labor supply in Egypt. This will be followed by four presentations in two consecutive sessions.
  • The second day deals with the issues of social protection and economic vulnerability. Afterwards, six presentations will be staged in three consecutive sessions.
  • The conference will conclude with a closing panel focusing on key messages and recommendations emerging from the conference towards future policy considerations.

Agenda Highlights

Day 1 – Jobs and Gender

                                                       H.E. Khairat Barakat; Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS)

  • Panel 3 – Women and Work
    • Caitlyn Keo, Caroline Krafft, and Luca Fedi; Rural Women in Egypt: Opportunities and Vulnerabilities.
    • Reham Rizk and Ali Rashed; Trends and Determinants of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Egypt.

Day 2 – Social Protection and Economic Vulnerability

  • Panel 4: Closing Session on Egyptian Labor Market Policies


This project was made possible by the generous contributions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), World Bank Group, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.




Research Fellows

Ragui Assaad

Professor of Planning and Public Affairs, University of Minnesota


Caroline Krafft

Assistant Professor of economics at St. Catherine University


Mona Amer

Cairo University

Research Associates

Reham Rizk

Assistant Professor, British University in Egypt

Research Associates

Irène Selwaness

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University


Maia Sieverding

Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice at the American University of Beirut


Anda David

Research Officer with the Research and Development Division of the Agence Française de Développement.

Research Fellows

Mona Said

Assistant Professor of Economics, Economics Department, The American University in Cairo


Abdelaziz AlSharawy

PhD Student, Department of Economics, Virginia Tech


Caitlyn Keo

Economics Research Specialist at St. Catherine University


Colette Salemi

Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota

Dina Abdallah


Imane Helmy

A Ph.D. candidate in Economics at German University in Cairo (GUC)

Research Fellows

Jackline Wahba

Professor of Economics, University of Southampton, UK


Marian Atallah

– University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


Maye Ehab

Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences

Research Associates

Nelly El-Mallakh

Paris School of Economics and the Institut Convergences Migrations

Research Associates

Rami Galal

Assistant Professor, American University in Cairo

Research Associates

Rania Roushdy

Associate Professor, American University in Cairo


Rasha Hassan

Cairo University

Sevane Ananian


Policy Briefs

Supporting Women’s Livelihoods in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges

Caroline Krafft and Emma Kettle

In a nutshell: Egyptian women, especially rural women, have low economic participation by standard measures. Standard measures under-estimate the economic engagement ... read more

Policy Briefs

The Future of Labor Supply and Demographics in Egypt: Impending Challenges and Untapped Potential

Caroline Krafft and Emma Kettle

In a nutshell Demographic pressures on Egypt’s labor supply have decreased. The “youth bulge” generation are young adults now, their labor market entry complete, while the “echo” ... read more

Policy Briefs

Diversifying livelihood in Egypt: How is it changing?

Imane Helmy

Livelihood diversification is attracting considerable interest as a tool to cope with economic shocks and resist vulnerability. This brief discusses evidence on livelihood ... read more

Policy Briefs

Household Vulnerability and Resilience in Egypt: The Role of Social Policies

Rania Roushdy and Imane Helmy

Key questions: What are the shocks experienced by Egyptian households and how did they cope? How do social programs in Egypt ... read more

Working Papers

The School to work transition and youth economic vulnerability in Egypt

Mona Amer and Marian Atallah

This paper explores the school-to-work transition patterns of young people in Egypt over the past two decades (1998-2018). In particular, it seeks to update ... read more

Working Papers

Social Protection and Vulnerability in Egypt: A Gendered Analysis

Irène Selwaness and Maye Ehab

This paper presents a comprehensive review of the state of social protection in Egypt using data from the Egypt Labor Market Panel Surveys of ... read more

Working Papers

Is the Egyptian economy creating good jobs? Job creation and economic vulnerability from 1998 to 2018

Ragui Assaad , Abdelaziz AlSharawy and Colette Salemi

In terms of overall growth rates, the Egyptian economy has rebounded from the slowdown it experienced as a result of the global financial crisis, ... read more

Working Papers

Household Vulnerability and Resilience to Shocks in Egypt

Imane Helmy and Rania Roushdy

A growing body of literature points to the role of exposure to shocks in reducing economic resilience. While all households are negatively affected by ... read more

Working Papers

Introducing the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey 2018

Caroline Krafft , Ragui Assaad and Khandker Wahedur Rahman

This paper introduces the 2018 wave of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS), previously fielded in 1998, 2006, and 2012. These publicly-available ... read more

Working Papers

Rural Women in Egypt: Opportunities and Vulnerabilities

Caitlyn Keo , Caroline Krafft and Luca Fedi

This paper investigates the lives and livelihoods of rural women in Egypt. Rural women have lower economic participation, by standard measures, than urban women ... read more

Working Papers

The Evolution of Labor Supply in Egypt from 1988-2018: A Gendered Analysis

Caroline Krafft , Ragui Assaad and Caitlyn Keo

This paper investigates the character of labor supply and especially female labor force participation in Egypt and its evolution over the thirty-year span from ... read more

Working Papers

Internal versus International Migration in Egypt: Together or Far Apart

Anda David , Nelly El-Mallakh and Jackline Wahba

This paper examines the relationship between internal, international, and return migration in Egypt. Using the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS), this paper documents the ... read more

Working Papers

Associations between Economic Vulnerability and Health and Wellbeing in Egypt

Maia Sieverding and Rasha Hassan

There is a well-established relationship between economic vulnerability and health. The study of this relationship is complicated by reverse causality – poor economic outcomes ... read more