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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 8.8% in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), indicating a 1% decline compared with the same period of last year.

According to the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran, a total of 2,291,604 Iranians were unemployed in Q1, such that men’s unemployment stood at 7.5% while the rate for women hovered around 15.6%. Over 1.62 million men and 669,346 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in Q1.   

The unemployment rate was 9.6% for urban areas (1.87 million people) and 6.4% for rural areas (416,220 people).



Labor Force Participation, Youth Unemployment

SCI put Q1 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) — at 41.4% or 25.96 million people, registering a 0.4% increase year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 69.1% and 13.7% respectively in the same period.

A total of 21.67 million men and 4.29 million women of ages 15 and above were economically active in Q1.

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 22.1% in Q1, posting a 2.4% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years stood at 15.6%, posting a decline of 1.1% 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 9.8%, up 1.9% year-on-year and was higher for men and those living in rural areas. 

The Q1 underemployment rate for men and women stood at 10.8% and 4.3%, respectively, while it was 8.8% for urban areas and 12.6% for rural areas.

Unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 13.4% in Q1, posting a 0.1% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 9.4% and that of women stuck around 22.4%.  

The share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 40.3% in Q1, which indicate an increase of 4.3% year-on-year. 

The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total unemployed population stood at 27.7% and 71%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population were 43.2% in urban areas and 27.3% 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 Q1 employment rate was 37.7% (23.67 million), up 0.8% compared with the same quarter of last Iranian year. Employment rates for men and women were 63.9% and 11.5%, respectively, which constituted 20.05 million men and 3.62 million women in Q1. 

Employment rate was 36.5% (17.6 million people) in urban areas and 41.6% (6.06 million) in rural areas. 

The share of employment of university graduates stood at 25.3% of the total employed population, wherein male and female graduate employment rates were 21.7% and 45.3%, respectively. Graduate employment rates in urban and rural areas stood at 31.2% and 8.2% of the total population of job-holders. 

Q1 statistics show that 36.4% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating a 2.9% increase over the same period of last year. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 48.8% of the Iranian employed population (11.55 million), 0.9% less than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 33.2% and 17.9% of jobs respectively. 

Over 7.87 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 1.4% compared with the same period of the year before and 4.24 million worked in agriculture, posting a 0.7% decrease 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 9.55 million men and 2 million women in the three-month period; over 6.99 million men and 875,573 women were working in the industrial sector and 3.5 million men and 746,601 women worked in the agriculture sector in Q1. 

Services sector accounted for 57.8% or 10.18 million of all jobs in urban areas and 22.6% or 1.36 million of jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 35% or 6.16 million of the jobs in urban areas and comprised 28.1% or 1.7 million of employment in rural areas. This is while 7.1% or 1.25 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 49.4% or 2.99 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector. 



Provincial Review

Hamedan Province filed the lowest unemployment rate of 5.6% among all Iranian provinces in Q1 while Hormozgan registered the highest unemployment rate of 16.6%. Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 6.3% unemployment rate. 

Eleven provinces, namely Qom (10.1%), West Azarbaijan (10.2%), Sistan-Baluchestan (10.2%), Alborz (10.6%), Lorestan (11%), Kerman (11.4%), Khuzestan (13.1%), Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari (13.4%), Yazd (14%), Kermanshah (14.7%) and Hormozgan (16.6%), registered double-digit unemployment rates for people of ages 15 and above in Q1.  

Yazd had the highest labor force participation rate (49.6%) and Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad Province had the lowest labor force participation rate (33.3%), whereas Tehran registered a 40.7% participation rate in Q1.  

Ardabil registered the highest employment rate of 43.3% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 31.2% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 38.1%. 


Iran unemployment rate