Circumstances beyond our control, including our parents’ job titles, have become more important in deciding the fate of young Egyptians in the job market, World Bank data shows.
The type of job a young person ends up with is heavily influenced by the occupations of their parents, underscoring the inequality of opportunity in the Egyptian labour market, according to a World Bank report published in late 2012.
The study shows that in the last decade, the labour market fates of young people in Egypt have become more bound up in their family origins as opportunities have become more limited.
The bottom line: it pays to have the “right” parent. Yes, this might be true for many other countries but it is especially important for Egypt, where youth unemployment is a tinderbox of unrest and instability.
Among Egypt’s young labour market aspirants, more than one in two stay in the same occupations as their parents, the report shows.
Lire Ersado, a senior economist at the World Bank, who was in Cairo this week to share his findings, said the predictive power a father’s occupation has on a son’s or daughter’s occupation has increased in the last ten years:
This means when you’re conceived your fate has already been decided and so being disadvantaged early on can affect your entire life. For example, there is a strong chance that if your father was a farmer, you will also be a farmer.
It’s decided in the womb.
In 2006, 44% of young men and 75% of young women born to parents with white-collar occupations remained in the same occupational status. The data shows that young people with fathers in white-collar occupations are four times more likely to obtain a white-collar job as those with fathers in agricultural or elementary occupations.