EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21) stood at 12.1%, registering a 0.5% drop compared with the same period of last year, according to the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran.
A total of 3.32 million Iranians were unemployed in spring.
The unemployment rate was 13.6% for urban areas (2.75 million people) and 7.9% for rural areas (568,631 people).
SCI has put Q1 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 41.1% or 27.38 million people, registering a 0.5% rise year-on-year, Financial Tribune reported.
Women’s unemployment rate stood at 19.2% while joblessness among men hovered around 10.3%, as over 2.25 million men and 1.07 million women of ages 10 and above were jobless in the first quarter.
Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 65.3% and 16.8% respectively in Q1.
According to SCI, 21.82 million men and 5.56 million women of ages 10 and above were economically active in the first three months of the current year, that is they were either employed or looking for job.
Youth Unemployment, Underemployment
SCI provides two figures for the youth unemployment rate: the proportion of the population between the ages of 15 and 24 and those between the ages of 15 and 29.
The youth unemployment rate of ages 15 and 24, stood at 28.3% in Q1, posting a 0.5% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 15 and 29 years stood at 25.5%, posting a 0.9% drop compared with the same period of last year.
Underemployment, the condition in which people in a labor force are employed for less than 44 hours of service per week, constitute 10.2% of the Iranian population and was higher among men compared to women and among those living in rural areas. The underemployment rate for men and women stood at 11.2% and 5.7%, respectively, while underemployment rate in urban areas was 9.2% and 13% in rural areas in spring.
Meanwhile, 40.1% of country’s job holders worked 49 hours or more per week, registering a decline of 0.7% YOY.
Graduate Unemployment, Employment Rates
The employment rate of university graduates stood at 23.2% of the total employed population, male and female graduate employment was 20% and 37.5%, respectively. Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 29.4% and 7.1% of the total population of job-holders.
The share of higher education unemployment from the total rate of unemployment was measured to be 36.4% in Q1, which indicates a decrease of 1% compared with the first quarter of last year. The unemployment rates for male and female graduates stood at 23.8% and 63.1% respectively while higher education unemployment rates were 17.4% in urban areas and 22.2% in rural areas during the period.
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 employment rate in Q1 was 36.1% (24.06 million). Men and women employment rates were 58.6% and 13.5%, respectively, as 19.56 million men and 4.49 million women were employed in spring.
The employment rate was 34.7% or 17.42 million in urban areas and 40.4% or 6.64 million in rural areas.
A Sectoral Review
The services sector employed 50.1% of the Iranian employed population (12.05 million), 0.3% more than the same quarter of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 31.2% and 18.7% of the employed population with jobs respectively.
Over 7.51 million were employed in the industrial sector (0.3% fewer than the same period of last year) and 4.49 million worked in agriculture, posting no change YOY.
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 services sector employed 9.69 million men and 2.35 million women in spring, such that over 6.36 million men and 1.15 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.5 million of men and 984,248 women worked in the agriculture sector in Q1.
Services sector accounted for 60.1% or 10.47 million of all jobs in urban areas and 23.8% or 1.58 million of all jobs in rural areas. Industrial sector made up 33.7% or 5.87 million of the jobs in urban areas and 24.7% or 1.64 million of the employment in rural areas, whereas 6.1% or 1.06 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 51.5% or 3.42 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector.
A Provincial Review
Semnan Province registered the lowest unemployment rate of 7.1% among all Iranian provinces in Q1 while Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province had the highest unemployment rate of 22.8%, the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran showed.
Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 12.3% unemployment rate.
Eleven provinces, namely Semnan (7.1%), Ardabil (7.7%), Zanjan (8.2%), Hamedan (8.2%), South Khorasan (8.5%), North Khorasan (8.8%), Markazi Province (8.8%), Golestan (8.8%), Mazandaran 8.8%, East Azarbaijan (9.9%) and Fars (9.9%), registered single-digit unemployment rates in spring.
Gilan had the highest labor force participation rate (46.8%) and Markazi Province had the lowest labor force participation rate (34.5%), whereas Tehran registered a 40.1% participation rate in Q1.
Ardabil registered the highest employment rate of 42.1% while Lorestan filed the lowest employment rate of 30.8% in Q1 among all Iranian provinces.
Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, the head of Iran’s Management and Planning Organization and government spokesman, said the government is planning to create 1.03 million jobs this year (March 2018-19).