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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 10 years and above, stood at 10.8% in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), indicating a 1.3% decrease compared with the same period of last year.

A total of 2,956,687 Iranians were unemployed in Q1, the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran announced.

Men’s unemployment rate stood at 9.2% while it was around 17.3% for women. Over 2.02 million men and 932,881 women of ages 10 and above were jobless in spring.   

The unemployment rate was 12% for urban areas (2.44 million people) and 7.3% for rural areas (512,881 people), Financial Tribune reported.



Labor Force Participation, Youth Unemployment

SCI put Q1’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 job—at 40.6% or 27.33 million people, registering a 0.5% decline year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 65% and 16.1% respectively in the same period. SCI reports that 21.94 million of men and 5.39 million of women of ages 10 and above were economically active in Q1—those who were either employed or looking for a job.

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

The youth unemployment rate for those between 15 and 24 years stood at 26.5% in Q1, posting a 1.8% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 15 and 29 years stood at 23.7%, posting a decline of 1.8% YOY. 



Underemployment, Graduate Unemployment 

Underemployment, the condition in which people are employed for less than 44 hours of service per week, stood at 10% and was higher for men and those living in rural areas. 

First quarter’s underemployment rate of men and women stood at 10.9% and 6.1%, respectively, while underemployment was 9% in urban areas and 12.7% in rural areas. 

The share of higher education unemployment from the total rate of unemployment was measured at 40.3% in Q1, which indicates an increase of 3.9% YOY. The unemployment rates of male and female graduates stood at 28.9% and 64.9%, respectively, while higher education unemployment rates were 43.3% in urban areas and 26% 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 total employment rate of Q1 was 36.2% (24.38 million). Men and women employment rates were 59% and 13.3%, respectively; 19.91 million men and 4.46 million women were employed in spring. 

The employment rate was 35% or 17.83 million in urban areas and 40% or 6.54 million in rural areas.

The employment rate of university graduates stood at 24.5% of the total employed population, whereby male and female graduate employment was 21.1% and 39.9%, respectively. 

Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 30.6% and 7.8% of the total population of job-holders. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 49.6% of the Iranian employed population (12.09 million), 0.5% less than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 31.5% and 18.9% of the employed population with jobs respectively. 

Over 7.68 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 0.3% compared with the year before and 4.6 million worked in agriculture, posting a 0.2% growth 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 9.71 million men and 2.37 million women in the three-month period.

Over 6.56 million men and 1.11 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.63 million men and 970,304 women worked in the agriculture sector in spring. 

Services sector accounted for 59.2% or 10.56 million of all jobs in urban areas and 23.3% or 1.52 million of the jobs in rural areas. 

The industrial sector made up 34% or 6.05 million of the jobs in urban areas and 24.8% or 1.62 million of the employment in rural areas.

A total of 6.8% or 1.21 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 51.9% or 3.39 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector.  



Provincial Review

Hamedan Province filed the lowest unemployment rate of 6.1% among all Iranian provinces in Q1 while Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province had the highest unemployment rate of 16.7%. Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 10.1% unemployment rate.

Thirteen provinces, namely Hamedan (6.1%), Fars (7%), North Khorasan (7.9%), Semnan (8.2%), Gilan (8.2%), Markazi (8.3%), Zanjan (8.3%), South Khorasan (8.6%), Ardebil (9.1%), Bushehr (9.2%), Ilam (9.3%), Khorasan Razavi (9.4%) and Mazandaran (9.5%), registered single-digit unemployment rates in Q1.

Gilan had the highest labor force participation rate (48.1%) and Sistan-Baluchestan had the lowest labor force participation rate (34.2%), whereas Tehran registered a 39.7% participation rate in spring.  

Gilan registered the highest employment rate of 44.1% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 29.5% among all Iranian provinces. 


Iran unemployment rate Unemployment jobless population