EghtesadOnline: The services sector employed 50.3% of the Iranian employed population in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), that is 12.2 million people, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.
Last year’s total employed population was over 24.27 million, nearly 430,000 more than the year before, SCI's latest report on Iran's job market shows.
The industrial and agricultural sectors provided 32% and 17.7% of total jobs, respectively.
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.
Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 10.7% in the last Iranian year, indicating a 1.5% decline compared with the year before.
Labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population of ages 15 and above that is economically active either employed or looking for a job—stood at 44.1%, registering a 0.4% decrease year-on-year.
Hojjat Mirzaie, an official with the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, says most of those who have filed for unemployment claims in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak have been employed in the services sector.
Ali Rabiei, the government spokesman, has said the economy could lose up to four million jobs as a result of the coronavirus.
“More than 12 million workers are employed in the services sector. The early impacts of unemployment can be seen in 10 business groups that were closed as soon as the virus was confirmed. Close to 3.3 million of the employed population in the official economy are directly affected by the crisis,” he was quoted as saying by the Persian-language daily Etemad.
“Close to 820,930 people have filed for unemployment benefits since March 13, of whom 687,911 were found eligible for benefits,” Masoud Babaie, an official with the Cooperatives Ministry, said recently.
"Only those subject to the Labor Law, the Social Security Law and Unemployment Insurance Law will qualify for unemployment benefits," he was quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency.
“The total number of individuals receiving unemployment benefits last year [March 2019-20] was 260,000,” he added.
In April, Babaie said the government would allocate 50,000 billion rials ($284 million) to Unemployment Insurance Fund to support those who have lost their jobs amid the virus outbreak.
“To prevent the spread of the virus, applicants are required to fill out online forms for unemployment benefits at the newly-designed website Bimebikari.mcls.gov.ir, rather than visiting the ministry’s bureaus," he added.
A total of 12,860 billion rials ($73 million) have been deposited to the Iranian Social Security Organization’s Unemployment Insurance Fund so far, according to the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare. The funding came from the €1 billion coronavirus relief package from the National Development Fund of Iran, Mehr News Agency reported.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has also approved the withdrawal of €1 billion from the National Development Fund of Iran—the country’s sovereign wealth fund—to help fight the coronavirus epidemic.