Labour, employment and Social Security Minister Tayeb Louh told the Algerie Presse Service on 19 June that there are now 1.24 million unemployed people in the country compared with 1.37 million in September 2007.

Last month Algeria said it wanted to reduce unemployment to 10 per cent by the end of 2009.

Louh has previously proposed that companies receive financial incentives, such as a paid bonus for every new hire.

The government’s new employment strategy consists of financial assistance worth AD12,000 ($192) every time a company hires a young graduate at a salary of between AD25,000-30,000.