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EghtesadOnline: The duration of employment in Iran stood at an average of 12.2 years (11 years for women and 12.5 years for men), while 68.7% stayed in their main jobs for under 15 years in the fiscal 2016-17, according to data released separately by the Statistical Center of Iran and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.

The employment duration of over 12.1 million out of 22.6 million job-holders (around 53.8%) was lower than in a decade. The period of employment in one’s main job was between 10 and 20 years for 24.7% of the workforce (nearly 5.6 million people).

The length of employment for 3.1 million people (or 13.8% of the employed) was between 20 and 30 years and for 1.8 million people (or 7.8%) it was more than 30 years, Mehr News Agency reported.  

The temporary nature of their jobs was the main reason for Iranian workers quitting last year, followed by low payment, downsizing, call for military service, closure of workplace, seasonal nature of the job, family issues, illness, relocation, migration and education, according to Financial Tribune.

A damning report by the Workers’ Guilds Association last year showed about 96% of workers in Iran have temporary contracts.

According to the association’s chairman, Gholamreza Abbasi, lack of job security and low wages are the two main challenges facing workers.

  Sectoral Breakdown

Last year, about four million people worked in the agriculture sector, in which employment duration was the longest, i.e. 18.8 years or nearly six years more than the average.

A total of 24% of the employed population in the agriculture sector worked for more than 30 years. This is while more than 36% of those working in this sector did not exceed a decade.  

The industrial sector employed 7.2 million people last year. Around 56% of employment in this sector was under 10 years. About 23% of jobholders in this sector had fewer than 3 years of experience.

One-third of employed women in the industrial sector had below 3 years of experience and the average employment duration for this sector stood at 11.2 years.

Some 11.3 million people worked in the services sector last year. Although this sector provided the lion’s share of employment, they were the least sustainable of all jobs among economic sectors.

The length of employment for 59% of the employed in the services sector was below 10 years. A total of 73.5% of those employed in the services sector had under 15 years of experience and the average employment duration for the sector was 10.6 years.

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 and health services.

  Unemployment at 12.4%

Iran’s unemployment rate in the last fiscal year (March 2016-17) stood at 12.4%, registering a 1.4% rise compared with the preceding year, the Statistical Center of Iran reported.

About 3.2 million Iranians were unemployed last year, which involved 10.5% of men (or 2.19 million) and 20.7% of women (or 1.01 million) of ages 10 and above.

The unemployment rate was 13.7% for urban areas and 8.9% for rural areas. Joblessness was higher among women compared to men and among those living in urban areas.

The youth unemployment rate, i.e. the proportion of the population between the ages of 15 and 29, stood at 25.9%, posting a 2.6% rise year-on-year.

Labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 10 years and above that is either employed or looking for work—stood at 39.4% or 25.79 million people, registering a 1.2% rise YOY.

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 64.1% and 14.9% respectively. The rate was 38.9% for urban areas and 41% for rural areas. Part-time employees constituted 10.3% of the employed population.

The services sector employed 50.1% of the Iranian population, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 31.9% and 18% of the population with jobs respectively.


Iran employment Iran Average Employment