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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of the jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 8.9% in the third quarter of the current Iranian year (Sept. 23-Dec. 21), indicating a 0.5% decline compared with the same period of last year.

According to a new report by the Statistical Center of Iran, a total of 2.3 million Iranians were unemployed in Q3. Men’s unemployment stood at 7.6% while the rate for women hovered around 15.7%. 

Over 1.6 million men and 653,168 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in Q3.   

The unemployment rate was 9.6% for urban areas (1.87 million people) and 6.8% for rural areas (425,122 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 a job — at 40.9% or 2.58 million people, registering a 0.5% decrease year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 68.7% and 13.1% respectively in the same period.

A total of 21.69 million men and 4.14 million women of ages 15 and above were economically active in Q3, i.e., they were either employed or looking for a 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 23.6% in Q3, posting a 0.1% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years stood at 16.1%, posting a decline of 0.4% 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%, up 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 11.7% and 4.6%, respectively, while it was 9.5% for urban areas and 14.2% for rural areas.

The unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 13.8% in Q3, posting a 0.5% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 10.3% and that of women stuck around 22.6%.  

The share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 42.3% in Q2, which indicates an increase of 2.1% year-on-year. 

The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total unemployed population stood at 22.2% and 46.5%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 46.1% in urban areas and 25.5% 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 37.3% (23.4 million), down 0.2% compared with the same quarter of the last Iranian year. Employment rates for men and women were 63.5% and 11.1%, respectively, which constituted 20 million men and 3.5 million women in Q3. 

Employment rate was 36.5% (17.72 million people) in urban areas and 40% (5.81 million) in rural areas. 

The share of employment of university graduates stood at 25.8% of the total employed population, wherein male and female graduate employment rates were 22.2% and 46.5%, respectively. In urban and rural areas, graduate employment rates stood at 31.5% and 8.7% of the total number of job-holders, respectively. 

Q3 statistics show that 37.4% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating a 0.5% increase over the same period of last year. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 49.9% of the Iranian employed population (11.74 million), 0.9% higher than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 34.7% and 15.4% of jobs respectively. 

Over 8.16 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 0.4% year-on-year and 3.63 million worked in agriculture, posting a 1.3% 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 sector employed 9.72 million men and 2.01 million women in the three-month period, such that 7.22 million men and 941,441 women were working in the industrial sector and 3.09 million men and 540,008 women worked in the agriculture sector. 

Services accounted for 58.1% or 10.3 million of all jobs in urban areas and 24.7% or 1.44 million of jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 35.8% or 6.35 million of the jobs in urban areas and comprised 31.2% or 1.81 million of employment in rural areas. 

This is while 6% or 1.06 million of the total jobs in urban areas and 44.1% or 2.56 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector. 



Provincial Review

Khorasan Razavi Province set the lowest unemployment rate of 5.3% among all Iranian provinces in Q3 while Hormozgan registered the highest unemployment rate of 15.3%. 

Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city, registered a 7.9% unemployment rate. 

Eleven provinces, namely Yazd (10.5%), Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Kurdestan each with 10.9%, Kerman (11.3%), Khuzestan and Isfahan (each with 11.4%), Ardabil (12%), West Azarbaijan (12.1%), Lorestan (12.8%), Kermanshah (13.2%) and Hormozgan (15.3%), registered double-digit unemployment rates for people of ages 15 and above in Q3.  

Ardabil had the highest labor force participation rate (46.9%) and Ilam had the lowest labor force participation rate (34%), whereas Tehran registered a 41.5% participation rate in Q3.  

Ardabil and North Khorasan each registered the highest employment rate of 41.3% while Sistan-Baluchestan filed the lowest employment rate of 31.6% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 38.2%.