Iran’s uneven development and dispute over unemployment
Tehran, Iran, Oct. 8
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Officials have been giving contradictory reports over unemployment in Iran. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli last week said the rate reached 60 percent in some cities. Government spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, however, denied that.
Iran’s unemployment rate this summer (June 21-Sept. 22) stood at 11.7 percent, according to the latest report from Iran Statistical Center.
However, there is a great gap between unemployment rates in different locations across the country. While in capital city of Tehran, the business Mecca of the country, unemployment rate hovers around 13 percent, in Bashagard, Hormozgan Province in southern Iran reports indicate a 53 percent rate.
Javanrud, Kermanshah Province, and Saravan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, two geographically and economically remote cities, follow Bashagard by 47 and 45 percent, respectively.
All Iranians aged over 10 years, who worked at least one hour a week or temporarily left their work during the survey week, were included as employed labor force in this summer’s report by the Statistics Center.
According to the report, 24.4 percent of Iran’s young population (15-29 years old) was unemployed. The unemployment among young Iranians has decreased by 2.3 percent compared to summer of 2016 and by 2 percent compared to spring of 2017.
In the last fiscal year, which ended March 20, the government created 650,000 jobs, while the desirable number was 1.3 million, Hamid Reza Haji Babaei, a member of the parliament and former minister of education, recently said.
According to Iran’s 2017-2022 development plan, the country would need 7.7 quadrillion rials (currently 1 USD is worth 33,850 rials) in investment annually in order to be able to create 1.5 million jobs.
The government’s reports indicate over 3.3 million unemployed people in Iran. So, with the current pace of job creation, the unemployment crisis will worsen.
Of those Iranians with a university degree, 30 percent remain without a job. Iran ranks 123 among 193 countries regarding employment rate.