Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest on living wage and income  
Need help?

Egypt

World bank, 2017
Poverty headcount ratio at $3.20 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population)
29%
Population below international poverty line

Equivalent to 2,000 Egyptian pounds per worker per month.
WageIndicator Foundation, 2021

104
per month
National minimum wage

Equivalent to 3,957 Egyptian pounds per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2020

 

206
per month
Rural living wage
World bank, 2019
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
21%
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2019
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
11%
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2020
No guarantee of rights.

5
very high
Risk to workers' rights

Context

Egypt has a population of approximately 100 million people,[1] of which 57% live in rural areas[2] and the remaining 43% in urban centers.[3] The agricultural sector accounts for 23% of total employment[4] and contributes to the country’s GDP by 11%.[5]

Despite its relatively small contribution to GDP, agriculture is of vital importance for Egypt as a major economic activity. Many citizens highly depend on sustenance farming. Smallholder farmers represent half of Egypt’s agricultural holdings, with plots of less than 0.42 hectares.[6]

Despite its dry climate, Egypt has the Nile to thank for its fertile land, allowing the country to be a large marker for various agricultural products. The top produced crops in Egypt are sugar cane, sugar beet, wheat, maize, tomatoes and rice, respectively.[7] Egypt’s top commodities in terms of export quantity are oranges, potatoes, refined sugar, beet pulp and wheat flour.[8]

Footnotes
  1. ^ World Bank (2019). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?locations=EG
  2. ^ World Bank (2019). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS?locations=EG
  3. ^ World Bank (2019). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS?locations=EG
  4. ^ World Bank (2020). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.AGR.EMPL.ZS?locations=EG
  5. ^ World Bank (2019). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NV.AGR.TOTL.ZS?locations=EG
  6. ^ FAO (2016.) AQUASTAT Country Profile –Egypt. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Rome, Italy. http://www.fao.org/3/i9729en/I9729EN.pdf
  7. ^ FAOSTAT (2018).http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#rankings/commodities_by_country
  8. ^ FAOSTAT (2018). http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#rankings/commodities_by_country_exports

Wages

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Egypt is set by law at 2,000 Egyptian Pound (104 EUR) per month. It is based on 8 hours per day for 5-day workweek or on 7 hours per day for a 6-day workweek.[1]

However, the minimum wage only covers public sector and government workers, leaving a lack of regulation in the private and informal sectors. This uneven playing field poses a challenge to improve the poor working conditions faced by workers in the informal economy, who make up 40% of the total workforce.[2]
Footnotes
  1. ^ WageIndicator Foundation (2020). Minimum Wage-Egypt. https://wageindicator.org/salary/minimum-wage/egypt
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. (2019)https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/egypt/

Living wage

The Global Living Wage Coalition, has developed a living wage reference value study for rural Egypt, based on the Anker methodology, which refers specifically to the rural areas of the country.

The Anker Living Wage Reference Value is estimated at 3,957 Egyptian Pound (206 EUR) per month, which is almost double the national minimum wage. The reference value is a wage which would guarantee workers a basic but decent standard of living in a typical rural area in Egypt. It represents the merge of a net living wage of 3,686 Egyptian pound (192 EUR) per month, plus 272 Egyptian pound (14 EUR) per month for workers to be able to cover taxes and social security costs. Due to the heterogeneous poverty rates in Egypt, it is expected that the minimum living wage gaps will vary greatly from one area to another.[1]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2020). Anker Living Wage Reference Value: Rural Egypt 2020. https://www.globallivingwage.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Rural-Egypt-LW-Reference-Value-FINAL.pdf

What's happening

resource

Living Wage Reference Value, Rural Egypt

Living wage estimate for workers in a typical rural area of Egypt to afford a basic but decent living standard. Global Living Wage Coalition, 2020.       

resource

Inside Inequality in the Arab republic of Egypt

A book, collaboration of the World Bank and the Social Contract Center of Egypt, drawing a picture on inequality inside of Egypt’s borders.

Learned enough?