Unemployment in Iran is two times higher than official statistics
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 21 /Trend, T. Jafarov/
Unemployment rate in Iran is 30 percent, believes Abdolreza Torabee, a member of the Parliament's commission on economic issues.
According to the latest statistical data publicized by the Iranian Statistical Center last spring, the unemployment rate in the country was equivalent to 14.6 percent.
The former deputy of Iranian Parliament, economic expert Ali Mazrouei believes that the unemployment rate in the country may increase up to 30 percent.
President of Iran Mahmud Ahmadinejad said 1.6 million new jobs were created in the country over the past year and that 2.5 million more new jobs are likely to be created this year.
Mazrouei, creation of one job in Iran requires $30,000 to $60,000 in investments. There are at least four million unemployed people in the country, and one million young people reach the able-bodied age every year.
"Solution of the unemployment problem in Iran requires an increase of investments, scales of privatization and state budget. None of these conditions exists in the country," Mazrouei told Trend by telephone from Norway.
According to the official statistics, in 2010 Iran attracted $2.6 billion foreign investments. Last year (Iranian year ends on March 21), there were privatized $6 billion-worth shares, said Peiman Nuri, Chairman of the Iranian privatization authority. This indicator will reach $23 billion in 2011, he said.
Iran finds a great difficulty in attracting foreign investments due to the sanctions imposed against Iran by the UN Security Council, Europe and the United States because of Iran's nuclear program. The Government itself has limited investment opportunities. Thus, reduction of the unemployment rate in the country inevitable requires changes of the state government methods and full change of the strained political atmosphere.
The unemployment rate of the country increases from time to time as no foreign investments are made in the production sector, said Mazrouei.
The former Central Bank consultant Bijan Bidabad believes that the real unemployment rate in the country is much higher than the official one. Unemployment rate calculation methodology was changed during Ahmadinejad's presidency, he said.
"The list of the unemployed is not inclusive of persons who work just one hour a week. According to the international standards, only persons who work at least 48 hours a week should be considered employed. Therefore, the official unemployment rate in Iran is lower than the real one", Bidabad told Trend by telephone from Tehran.
Decrease of the unemployment rate requires attraction of no less than one third of investments, which have so far been made in this direction, said Bidabad.
According to the International Monetary Fund's report released on April 12, the pace of economic growth of Iran was 1 percent in 2010 and is expected to be equivalent to zero in 2011. The Central Bank of Iran has been refusing to report economic development indicators to public since 2009.
The 20-year development plan of Iran (2002-2025) reads that decrease of the unemployment rate requires annual pace of economic growth of at least 8 percent. During Mohammed Khatemi's presidency in 1997-2005, there were created, on average, 600,000 new jobs a year with the annual pace of economic growth of 5 percent.