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EghtesadOnline: Fewer than 4% of workers in Iran enjoy job security, the employees’ representative in Supreme Labor Council said.

“Lack of job security, livelihood security that is defined as adequate and sustainable access to income and resources to meet basic needs, and the right to join or form a union are three main concerns of workers today,” Ali Khodaei was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency. 

“As we speak, employees feel threatened, more than the previous generations, by lack of job security, such that the other two concerns appear to have been overshadowed by uncertainty about the future.”

Currently, more than 95% of workers in Iran work on temporary contracts that are renewed every one, three or six months, according to Financial Tribune.

Khodaei noted that the psychological distress among workers resulting from the constant fear of non-renewal of contract is only one of the side-effects of job insecurity. 

“Employees tend to lose their sense of belonging to the workplace. I wonder how employers expect full productivity from workers who would remain in a job only for one month. How can an employee who is on a three-month contract perform at their best for projects lasting up to 15 years?”  

Khodaei said a worker’s salary can currently cover only 40% of the costs of living of a three-member household. 

“Only 10-15% of Iranian workers belong to a labor union that represents them in collective bargaining with employers for better wages and better working conditions,” he concluded. 



Unemployment Rate

Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 10 years and above, stood at 12% in the last Iranian year (March 2018-19), indicating a 0.1% rise compared with the year before (March 2017-18). 

A total of 3,260,796 Iranians were unemployed last year, according to the Statistical Center of Iran's latest report.

The unemployment rate for men stood at 10.4% while women’s joblessness hovered around 18.9%. 

Over 2.25 million men and 1.01 million women of ages 10 and above were jobless last year.   

The unemployment rate was 13.5% for urban areas (2.7 million people) and 7.9% for rural areas (553,883 people).

SCI has put last year’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 40.5% or 27.07 million people, registering a 0.4% rise year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 64.8% and 16.1% respectively last year. 

According to SCI, 21.71 million men and 5.35 million  women of ages 10 and above were economically active last year, that is they were either employed or looking for a job.

SCI provides two figures for the youth unemployment rate: the proportion of the population between 15 and 24 years and those between 15 and 29 years.   

The youth unemployment rate for those between 15 and 24 years stood at 27.7% last year, posting a 0.5% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 15 and 29 years stood at 25.1%, posting no change compared with the previous year. 

Underemployment, the condition in which people in a labor force are employed for less than 44 hours of service per week, stood at 10.8% and was higher among men compared to women and among those living in rural areas. 

The underemployment rate of men and women stood at 12% and 5.8%, respectively, while underemployment in urban areas was 9.4% and 14.6% in rural areas last year. 

About 38.3% of country’s job holders worked 49 hours or more of service per week, registering a decline of 0.7% YOY.

The share of higher education from the total rate of unemployment was measured at 38.5% last year, which indicates an increase of 1.4% YOY. 

The unemployment rates of male and female graduates stood at 26.1% and 65.9%, respectively, while higher education unemployment rates were 41.4% in urban areas and 23.9% in rural areas during the period.  


A worker’s salary can cover only 40% of the costs of living of a three-member household


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 total employment rate of last year was 35.6% (23.81 million). Men and women employment rates were 58.1% and 13%, respectively; 19.46 million men and 4.34 million women were employed last year. 

The employment rate was 34.4% or 17.38 million in urban areas and 39.2% or 6.43 million in rural areas.

The employment rate of university graduates stood at 23.9% of the total employed population, as the rate for male and female graduates was 20.4% and 39.2%, respectively. 

Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 30% and 7.2% of the total population of job-holders. 

The services sector employed 50.3% of the Iranian employed population (11.96 million), 0.1% more than the year before, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 32% and 17.7% of the employed population with jobs respectively. 

Over 7.62 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating a decrease of 0.3% compared with the year before and 4.21 million worked in agriculture, posting a 0.2% growth year-on-year. 

The services sector employed 9.64 million men and 2.31 million women last year. Over 6.45 million men and 1.16 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.35 million men and 856,102 women worked in the agriculture sector last year. 

Services sector accounted for 59.9% or 10.4 million of all jobs in urban areas and 24.3% or 1.56 million of the jobs in rural areas. 

Industrial sector made up 34% or 5.9 million of the jobs in urban areas and 26.6% or 1.71 million of the employment in rural areas whereas 6.1% or 1.05 million of the jobs in urban areas and 49.1% or 3.15 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector.


Iran Workers Job Security