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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 10.6% in the third quarter of the current Iranian year (Sept. 23-Dec. 21, 2019), indicating a 1.2% decline compared with the same period of last year.

A total of 2,892,726 Iranians were unemployed in Q3, the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran shows.

Men’s unemployment stood at 8.9% while the rate for women hovered around 17.3%. Over 1.95 million men and 936,002 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in Q3, Financial Tribune reported. 

The unemployment rate was 11.8% for urban areas (2.39 million people) and 7.1% for rural areas (494,277 people).



Labor Force Participation, Youth Unemployment

SCI put Q3 labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 15 and above that is economically active either employed or looking for job—at 44.3% or 27.33 million people, registering a 0.2% decrease year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 71% and 17.5% respectively in the same period.

SCI reports that 21.93 million men and 5.4 million women of ages 15 and above were economically active in Q3, i.e., they were either employed or looking for job.

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

The youth unemployment rate of those between 15 and 24 years stood at 25.8% in Q3, posting a 1.2% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years stood at 17.9%, posting a decline of 1.4% 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 10.6%, down 1.1% year-on-year and was higher for men and those living in rural areas. 

The Q3 underemployment rate for men and women stood at 11.5% and 6.2%, respectively, while it was 9.3% for urban areas and 13.9% for rural areas.

Unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 17.4% in Q3, posting a 1.2% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 13.7% and that of women stuck around 27.3%.  

The share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 43.3% in Q3, which indicates an increase of 2.6% year-on-year. 

The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total unemployed population stood at 31.2% and 68.7%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population were 46.3% in urban areas and 28.9% 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 Q3 employment rate was 39.6% (24.44 million), up 0.4% compared with the same quarter of last Iranian year. Employment rates for men and women were 64.7% and 14.5%, respectively, which constituted 19.97 million men and 4.46 million women in Q3. 

Employment rate was 38.1% or 17.93 million in urban areas and 44.4% or 6.51 million in rural areas.

The share of employment of university graduates stood at 24.4% of the total employed population, wherein male and female graduate employment was 21.3% and 38.2%, respectively. Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 30.4% and 7.8% of the total population of job-holders. 

Q3 statistics show that 36.5% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating no change over the same period of last year. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 50% of the Iranian employed population (12.22 million), 0.1% more than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 32.9% and 17.1% of jobs respectively. 

Over 8.03 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 0.1% compared with the year before and 4.19 million worked in agriculture, posting a 0.1% decline 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 9.95 million men and 2.26 million women in the three-month period; over 6.67 million men and 1.35 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.35 million men and 839,773 women worked in the agriculture sector in Q3. 

Services sector accounted for 59.4% or 10.65 million of all jobs in urban areas and 24.1% or 1.57 million of jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 34.4% or 6.16 million of the jobs in urban areas and comprised 28.6% or 1.86 million of employment in rural areas. This is while 6.2% or 1.11 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 47.2% or 3.07 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector.



Provincial Review

South Khorasan province filed the lowest unemployment rate of 5.4% among all Iranian provinces in Q3 while Kermanshah Province registered the highest unemployment rate of 16.3%. Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 9.4% unemployment rate.

Thirteen provinces, namely South Khorsan (5.4%), Khorasan Razavi (6.3%), Semnan (7.6%), Ilam (8.1%), Hamedan (8.6%), North Khorasan (8.8%), Markazi Province (9.1%), Bushehr (9.4%), Tehran (9.4%), Zanjan (9.4%), Fars (9.4%), Golestan (9.6%) and Mazandaran (9.8%) registered single-digit unemployment rates for people of ages 15 and above in Q3. 

Khorasan Razavi had the highest labor force participation rate (52.4%) and Markazi Province had the lowest labor force participation rate (37%), whereas Tehran registered a 41.7% participation rate in fall.  

Khorasan Razavi registered the highest employment rate of 49.1% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 32.9% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 37.8%. 


Iran unemployment rate Unemployment Declines Q3