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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 15 years and above, stood at 10.5% in the second quarter of the current Iranian year (June 22-Sept. 22), indicating a 1.8% decrease compared with the same period of last year.

A total of 2,894,298 Iranians were unemployed in Q2, according to the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran.

Men’s unemployment stood at 8.6% while the rate hovered around 18.2% for women. 

Over 1.9 million men and 986,318 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in summer, according to Financial Tribune.

The unemployment rate was 11.8% for urban areas (2.42 million people) and 6.6% for rural areas (466,012 people).



Labor Force Participation, Youth Unemployment

SCI put the Q2 labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 15 years and above that is economically active either employed or looking for a job—at 44.9% or 27.64 million people, registering a 0.2% increase year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 72.2% and 17.6% respectively in the same period. SCI reported that 22.23 million men and 5.4 million women ages 15 and above were economically active in Q2, that is they were either employed or looking for job.

SCI provides two figures for the youth unemployment rate: the proportion of those between 15-24 and 18-35 years.   

The youth unemployment rate of those between 15 and 24 years, stood at 26.1% in Q2, posting a 1.1% decline while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years, stood at 17.9%, posting a decline of 2% YOY.



Underemployment, Graduate Unemployment, Employment

Underemployment, the condition in which people in a labor force are employed for less than 44 hours of service per week, stood at 8.8% and was higher for men and for those living in rural areas. 

Second quarter’s underemployment rate for men and women stood at 9.6% and 4.8%, respectively, while the underemployment rate was 7.9% in urban areas and 11.2% in rural areas.

Unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 17.2% in Q2, posting a 1.7% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 13.7% and that of women stuck around 27.1%.  

The share of higher education unemployment from the total rate of unemployment was 43.8% in Q2, which indicates an increase of 4.3% YOY. The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total rate of unemployment stood at 27.8% and 67.6%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployment was 46.8% in urban areas and 28.1% in rural areas during the period under review.  

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 because of a working-time arrangement.

The total employment rate in Q2 was 40.2% (24.75 million), up 1% compared with the same quarter of last year. Employment rates among men and women were 66% and 14.4%, respectively; 20.33 million men and 4.41 million women were employed in summer. 

Employment rate was 38.6% or 18.1 million in urban areas and 45.2% or 6.64 million in rural areas.

The share of employment of university graduates stood at 24.7% of the total employed population, male and female graduate employment was 20.4% and 40.5%, respectively. Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 30.8% and 8% of the total population of job-holders respectively. 

Q2 statistics show 40.7% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating a 0.4% decrease over the same period of last year. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 49.1% of the Iranian employed population (12.14 million), 0.4% less than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 32% and 19% of the employed population with jobs respectively. 

Over 7.91 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 0.5% compared with the year before and 4.69 million worked in agriculture, posting a 0.1% 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 9.85 million men and 2.28 million women in the three-month period, such that over 6.77 million men and 1.13 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.69 million men and 995,672 women worked in the agriculture sector of Q2. 

Services sector accounted for 58.7% or 10.61 million of all jobs in urban areas and 22.9% or 1.52 million of the jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 34.3% or 6.21 million of the jobs in urban areas and 25.6% or 1.69 million in rural areas whereas 7% or 1.27 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. 



Provincial Survey

Zanjan Province filed the lowest unemployment rate of 5.2% among all Iranian provinces in Q2 while Sistan-Baluchestan Province had the highest unemployment rate of 15.2%. Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 10.8% unemployment rate.

Sixteen provinces, namely Zanjan (5.2%), Hamedan (5.3%), South Khorasan (7.6%), Fars (7.6%), Semnan (8%), Qazvin (8.2%), Markazi (8.3%), Ilam (8.7%), West Azarbaijan (8.7%), North Khorasan (8.8%), Mazandaran (8.9%), Ardabil (9%), Khorasan Razavi (9%), East Azarbaijan (9.1%), Gilan (9.6%) and Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad Province (9.9%) registered single-digit unemployment rates in Q2. 

Zanjan had the highest labor force participation rate (50.2%) and Sistan-Baluchestan had the lowest labor force participation rate (36.5%), whereas Tehran registered a 43.3% participation rate in summer.  

Hamedan registered the highest employment rate of 45% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 31% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 38.6%.


Iran unemployment rate Unemployment Drops Q2