Ex-President: Iran needs 20 percent economic growth for 2.5 million new jobs

Business Materials 17 May 2011 14:18 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 May /Trend/

Iran needs at least 20 percent economic growth to create 2.5 million new jobs annually, the opposition website Kalame reported quoting Iranian ex-president Mohammad Khatami as saying.

"The manufacturing sector of the country is heavily damaged," Khatami said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier that government would create 2.5 million new jobs in the next solar year (Iranian calendar year starts on March 21) and the unemployment rate w ould g o down over next years.

During Mohammad Khatami's presidency between 1997-2005 , the country achieved a 5-percent economic growth and opened 600 ,000 new jobs annually.

More than 2.5 million Iranians are unemployed , while 900 ,000 are entering the labor market a year .

The International Monetary Fund forecasted zero percent economical growth in Iran in 2011.

The Iranian Statistics Agency reported that unemployment rate hit 14.6 percent in spring 2010. However, in late March Iranian Labor and Social Affairs Minister Abdol Reza Sheikh-Ol-Eslami said quoting Ahmadinejad that unemployment rate hit 10 percent.

According to the Strategic Planning and Control Organization, the country achieved 6.63 percent economic growth a year on average from 2004 to 2007 and opened 764,633 new jobs annually.

Iran includes those working even an hour a week into the list of employed people. Based on the International standards, employed person should have minimum 48 work hours a week.