EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate in the second quarter of the current fiscal year (June 22-Sept. 22) stood at 11.7%, registering a 1% drop compared with the same period of last year and a 0.9% decrease compared with the previous quarter, the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran said.
The youth unemployment rate, i.e. the proportion of the population between the ages of 15 and 29, stood at 24.4% in Q2, posting a 2.3% decrease compared with last year’s corresponding period and a 2% drop compared with Q1.
SCI has put second quarter’s labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 10 years and above that is economically active (either employed or looking for work)—at 41%, registering a 0.6% rise compared with the same quarter of the last year and a 0.4% increase compared with spring.
Part-time employees, those who are employed for less than 44 hours per week, constituted 9.2% of the country’s employed population in summer, whereas 40.5% of the employees worked 49 hours or more per week, according to Financial Tribune.
The services sector employed 49.5% of the Iranian employed population. The industrial and agricultural sectors provided 31.4% and 19.1% of the population with jobs respectively.
The services sector consists of wholesale and retail trade; restaurants and hotels; transport, storage and communications; financing, insurance, real estate and business services; as well as community, social, education, health and personal services.
The issue of illegal immigrants’ employment in Iran took center stage in a Wednesday session of the Iranian Parliament.
“Despite four million jobless Iranians, up to three million illegal immigrants are vying for jobs in Iran’s labor market,” said Hossein-Ali Haji Deligani, the representative of Shahinshahr in the parliament.
“Isn’t unemployment the greatest problem of the country? Aren’t poverty and corruption the creations of unemployment? In one word, isn’t unemployment the root of all evils? So why are job opportunities for three million Iranian citizens being given to illegal aliens?” he asked.
“Foreigners enter Iran illegally; they have landed 2 million jobs from working in grocery stores to jewelry shops to construction to farming whereas Iranian youths are working as porters [carrying contraband on their backs across borders] and street vending,” he added.
According to the lawmaker, 90% of foreign citizens enter Iran only to find work.
In response, Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei noted that Iran is a member of international conventions that protect the rights of migrant workers.
He added that the ministry identified 40,000 employers who hire illegal immigrants over the past four years and referred them to the judiciary, while 80,000 Iranian nationals replaced illegal immigrants over the period.
Over the five months ending August 22, a total of 5,759 jobs occupied by aliens were handed to Iranian workforce following 28,000 inspection visits.
“Inspection visits are not enough to prevent workshops from employing illegals, though,” he added.
According to Rabiei, there are 1.7 million legal and 700,000 illegal immigrants in Iran, and close to 197,000 of the 700,000 illegal immigrants have been identified and deported.
The minister believes there are an additional 700,000 illegals in the country who have yet to be identified.
Around 2.2% of Iran’s population are foreign-born, the findings of the recent National Population and Housing Census show.
Iran’s current population is 79,926,270, out of which 1,583,979 or 1.98% are Afghanistan-born residents, according to the findings of last year’s national census.
In 2006-7, Afghans made up for 1.72% of the population and in 2011-12, numbered 1.93% of Iran’s population.
Foreign-born immigrants from Iraq constitute 0.04% of the population and those from Pakistan make up 0.02%.