(Ecofin Agency) - The number of unemployed individuals recorded by the Tunisian statistics institute in the first quarter of 2023 exceeded 655,000, against about 625,000 in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Tunisia’s unemployment rate reached 16.1% in Q1-2023, up from 15.2% a quarter earlier, results published, Monday (May 15), by the national statistics institute INS show.
The institute reveals that over 655,000 unemployed individuals were recorded during the period under review, against nearly 625,000 in the fourth quarter of 2022. This is nearly 4.8% up during the period.
"The gender distribution shows that unemployment rose for both men (13.9% vs. 12.9% in Q4 2022) and women (21.2% vs. 20.1% in Q4 2022)," the stats show.
This increase in unemployment is explained in part by the decline in the labor participation rate over the same period. According to the INS, in the first quarter, the rate dropped by 0.5%, from 46.5% in Q4-2022 to 46% in Q1-2023.
For several years, the North African country has faced numerous socio-economic tensions. Tunisia’s negotiations for a $1.9 billion loan from the IMF have stalled despite a principle agreement in October 2022. The situation hinders the country’s ability to access aid from its other partners.
According to the IMF's outlook, the Tunisian economy is expected to grow by 1.3% in 2023 compared to 2.5% in 2022 while inflation is expected to rise to 10.9% from 8.3% over the same period.