EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 9.4% in the third quarter of the current fiscal year (Sept. 22-Dec. 20, 2020), indicating a 1.2% decline compared with the same period of last year.
According to the latest report of the Statistical Center of Iran, a total of 2,435,717 Iranians were unemployed in Q3.
Men’s unemployment stood at 8.1% while the rate for women hovered around 15.9%.
Over 1.73 million men and 700,153 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in Q3.
The unemployment rate was 10.2% for urban areas (1.97 million people) and 7.2% for rural areas (465,111 people).
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 41.4% or 25.84 million people, registering a 2.9% year-on-year decrease.
Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were at 68.8% and 14.1% respectively.
SCI’s reports show that 21.45 million men and 4.39 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 23.7% in Q3, posting a 2.1% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years stood at 16.5%, posting a decline of 1.4% YOY.
Underemployment, the condition in which people in a labor force are employed for less than 44 hours of service per week, stood at 9.9%, down 0.7% year-on-year and was higher for men and those living in rural areas.
The Q3 underemployment rate for men and women stood at 10.9% and 4.3%, respectively, while it was 8.4% for urban areas and 14% for rural areas.
Unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 14.3% in Q3, posting a 3.1% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 10.3% and that of women stuck around 23.4%.
The share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 40.2% in Q3, which indicates a decrease of 3.1% year-on-year.
The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total unemployed population stood at 28.1% and 70.3%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population were 43.4% in urban areas and 27% in rural areas during the period.
The total Q3 employment rate was 37.5% (23.41 million), down 2.1% compared with the same quarter of last Iranian year. Employment rates for men and women were 63.2% and 11.8%, respectively, which constituted 19.72 million men and 3.69 million women in Q3.
Employment rate was 36.4% or 17.41 million in urban areas and 41% or 5.99 million in rural areas.
The share of employment of university graduates stood at 25% of the total employed population, wherein the employment rates for male and female graduates were 21.6% and 43.6%, respectively. Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 30.8% and 8.4% of the total population of job-holders.
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.
Q3 statistics show that 34.2% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating a 2.3% decrease over the same period of last year.
The services sector employed 49% of the Iranian employed population (11.48 million), 1% less than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 34.3% and 16.7% of jobs respectively.
Over 8.02 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 1.4% compared with last year and 3.9 million worked in the agriculture sector, posting a 0.4% 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 sector employed 9.49 million men and 1.98 million women in the three-month period; over 6.95 million men and 1.06 million women were working in the industrial sector and 3.27 million men and 632,542 women were active in the agriculture sector in Q3.
Services sector accounted for 58.1% or 10.12 million of all jobs in urban areas and 22.7% or 1.35 million of jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 35.5% or 6.17 million of the jobs in urban areas and comprised 30.7% or 1.84 million of employment in rural areas. This is while 6.4% or 1.11 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 46.6% or 2.79 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector.
Ilam and Khorasan Razavi provinces filed the lowest unemployment rate of 5.1% among all Iranian provinces in Q3 while West Azarbaijan registered the highest unemployment rate of 15.5%. Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 6.8% unemployment rate.
Seventeen provinces, namely Ilam (5.1%), Khorasan Razavi (5.1%), South Khorasan (6.6%), Semnan (6.7%), Tehran (6.8%), Zanjan (7.2%), Mazandaran (7.6%), Ardabil (7.8%), Qom (8%), North Khorasan (8.1%), Markazi (8.2%), Fars (8.2%), East Azarbaijan (8.4%), Sistan-Baluchestan (8.9%), Bushehr (9%), Golestan (9.3%) and Hamedan (9.3%) registered single-digit unemployment rates for people of ages 15 and above in Q3.
Hormozgan had the highest labor force participation rate (50.5%) and Sistan-Baluchestan Province had the lowest labor force participation rate (32.9%), whereas Tehran registered a 39.3% participation rate in Q3.
Khorasan Razavi registered the highest employment rate of 44.8% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 29.9% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 36.6%.
Parliamentary Think Tank’s Account
The economically active population, the sum of employed and unemployed persons, reduced by 1.62 million in the second quarter of the current fiscal year (June 21-Sept. 21), indicating a 3.1% decline in labor force participation rate compared with the corresponding period of last year, according to a report by Majlis Research Center, the research arm of the Iranian Parliament.
According to this report, 22.3% of the unemployed and 8.9% of employed persons were added to the population of economically inactive in Q2. Had they joined the population of people looking for a job, the unemployment rate of the period under review would have been 18.5% rather than the official 9.5% announced by the Statistical Center of Iran.
The MRC report continues: “Of the more than 1.62 million people of the active population that dropped out of the labor market in Q2, 1.01 million were women and 615,651 were men. The second quarter’s economic participation rate fell 3.1% year-on-year to reach 41.8%. In fact, women experienced the highest job losses in Q2.
Out of 1.2 million people who lost their jobs in Q2, 460,000 were men and 750,000 were women. Men and women’s participation rates dropped by 2.7% and 3.5% to hit 69.5% and 14.1%, respectively.
The services sector accounted for the biggest share of the unemployed: out of 1.2 million persons who lost their jobs in Q2, 817,000 were from the services sector. Out of 22 groups of economic activities, only three groups, namely “financial and insurance activities”, “construction” and “administrative activities and support services” registered growth in employed population.
The sharpest declines were registered by three groups of “accommodation and food services”, “information and communications” and “art, leisure and entertainment”.