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EghtesadOnline: Out of the 22.67 million employees in Iran in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2017), 97.6% were Iranian and around 2.4% were foreign nationals living in Iran.

The total population of Iran last year stood at 79,926,270, of which 97.8% were Iranians and the rest amounting to 1,759,448 people were foreigners, Fars News Agency reported.

Of the total number of foreign nationals, 1,583,979 were Afghans, 34,532 were Iraqis, 14,320 were Pakistanis, 713 were Turks and 20,844 had other nationalities. The nationalities of a further 105,060 were unknown. 

More than 560,000 foreign nationals residing in Iran last year were economically active, of which 538,646 had jobs, Financial Tribune reported.

About 71% of the foreign population living in Iran were literate and the rest were illiterate, according to the report.

Work permits were issued, extended or renewed for 11,787 foreign nationals living in Iran during the period, registering a 7% decrease compared with the previous year, figures released by the Statistical Center of Iran and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare indicate.

The ministry issues work permits for specific occupations under the conditions that there is no Iranian specialist to do that job, the foreigner has sufficient expertise for executing that work and that the expertise be used to train Iranian workforce so they could replace the foreign worker later. 

A total of 2,367 foreigners, who had spent 10 consecutive years in Iran or had an Iranian spouse, were granted work permits last year.

Iran is one of the world’s four countries with the highest number of refugees. 

The Iranian government is the primary financial contributor to the refugee program through various ministries and organizations. Additional support is provided through semi-governmental organizations and charities. 

The government grants the legal refugee population access to medical services, education, literacy classes for out-of-school children and work in the labor market.

Many foreign nationals living illegally in Iran or trying to enter the country illegally are caught and deported by the Iranian authorities every year. 

Last month, Iran handed dozens of Pakistani nationals to the Pakistani authorities at the Taftan border crossing in Balochistan. The deported Pakistanis, who were arrested from different cities of Iran for not having valid documents, after an initial inquiry will be handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency for further investigation.

Iran’s unemployment rate in the fiscal 2016-17 stood at 12.4%, registering a 1.4% rise compared with the year before, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.

Some 3.2 million Iranians were unemployed last year–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 compared with the fiscal 2015-16.

SCI put last year’s labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 10 years and above that’s economically active either employed or looking for work—at 39.4% or 25.79 million people, registering a 1.2% rise compared with the year before.

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 country’s employed population.

Employment is defined as persons of working age engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit, whether at work during the reference period or not at work due to a temporary absence from a job, or to working-time arrangement.

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.

Four provinces, namely Markazi Province (7.3%), Semnan (8.6%), Hamedan (9.5%) and Zanjan (9.7%), registered single-digit unemployment rates this year. Kermanshah Province filed the highest unemployment rate of 22% among all Iranian provinces.

Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered an 11.6% unemployment rate, the SCI report said.


Iran job market Foreign Nationals in Iran