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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s unemployment rate, the proportion of the jobless population of ages 15 and above, stood at 9.4% in the fourth quarter of last Iranian year (Dec. 22, 2021-March 20), indicating a 0.3% year-on-year decline.

According to a new report by the Statistical Center of Iran, a total of 2.4 million Iranians were unemployed in Q4. Men’s unemployment stood at 8.4% while the rate for women hovered around 14.9%. 

Over 1.81 million men and 653,609 women of ages 15 and above were jobless in Q4.   

The unemployment rate was 9.9% for urban areas (1.92 million people) and 8% for rural areas (487,103 people).



Labor Force Participation, Youth Unemployment

SCI put Q4 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 40.4% or 2.56 million people, registering a 0.5% decrease year-on-year. 

Men’s and women’s economic participation rates were 68% and 12.8% respectively in the same period.

A total of 21.52 million men and 4.06 million women of ages 15 and above were economically active in Q4, 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 23.1% in Q4, posting a 0.5% decrease while the unemployment rate of those between 18 and 35 years stood at 16.6%, posting a decline of 0.2% 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 10.7%, down 0.1% year-on-year and was higher for men and those living in rural areas. 

The Q4 underemployment rate for men and women stood at 11.9% and 4.2%, respectively, while it was 9.2% for urban areas and 15.5% for rural areas.

The unemployment rate for university graduates stood at 13% in Q4, posting a 1.1% decrease YOY. Higher education unemployment rate for men stood at 9.7% and that of women stuck around 20.8%.  

The share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 38.1% in Q4, which indicates a decrease of 0.7% year-on-year. 

The unemployment shares of male and female graduates from the total unemployed population stood at 26.8% and 71.8%, respectively, while the share of higher education unemployment from the total unemployed population was 41.9% in urban areas and 23% 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 Q4 employment rate was 36.6% (23.17 million), down 0.3% compared with the same quarter of last Iranian year. Employment rates for men and women were 62.3% and 10.9%, respectively, which constituted 19.72 million men and 3.45 million women in Q4. 

The employment rate was 36% (17.58 million people) in urban areas and 38.5% (5.59 million) in rural areas. 

The share of employment of university graduates stood at 26.6% of the total employed population, wherein male and female graduate employment rates were 22.9% and 48.7%, respectively. In urban and rural areas, graduate employment rates stood at 32.2% and 8.9% of the total number of job-holders, respectively. 

Q4 statistics show that 36.7% of the country’s labor force worked more than 49 hours per week, indicating a 1% increase over the same period of last year. 



Sectoral Review

The services sector employed 51.9% of the Iranian employed population (12.03 million), 1.5% higher than the corresponding period of last year, whereas industrial and agricultural sectors provided 33.6% and 14.5% of jobs respectively. 

Over 7.78 million were employed in the industrial sector, indicating an increase of 0.2% year-on-year and 3.37 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 9.95 million men and 2.08 million women in the three-month period, such that 6.87 million men and 901,585 women were working in the industrial sector and 2.9 million men and 469,735 women worked in the agriculture sector. 

Services accounted for 60% or 10.54 million of all jobs in urban areas and 26.6% or 1.49 million of all jobs in rural areas. The industrial sector made up 34.8% or 6.11 million of the jobs in urban areas and comprised 29.8% or 1.66 million of employment in rural areas. 

This is while 5.3% or 925,570 of the total jobs in urban areas and 43.6% or 2.44 million of the jobs in rural areas were in the agriculture sector. 



Provincial Review

Tehran Province, wherein lies the capital city saw the lowest unemployment rate of 6% among all Iranian provinces in Q4 while East Azarbaijan registered the highest unemployment rate of 18.3%. 

Eleven provinces, namely Alborz (10.7%), North Khorasan (10.8%), Kerman (11.2%), Khuzestan (11.6%), Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari with (12.4%), Hormozgan (13.2%), Ardabil (14%), Lorestan (14.5%), Kurdestan (16.7%), Kermanshah (17.9%) and West Azarbaijan (18.3%), registered double-digit unemployment rates for people of ages 15 and above in Q4.  

Yazd had the highest labor force participation rate (47.1%) and Ilam had the lowest labor force participation rate (33.4%), whereas Tehran registered a 40.8% participation rate in Q4.  

Yazd registered the highest employment rate of 44.9% while Ilam filed the lowest employment rate of 31.1% among all Iranian provinces. Tehran’s employment rate stood at 38.4%.