Domestic Economy

Unemployment Rate Eases in Summer

Unemployment Rate Eases in Summer Unemployment Rate Eases in Summer

Unemployment dropped 1.2 percentage point to 9.5 percent in the second quarter (summer) from 10.7 percent in spring, the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) reported on Thursday.

Figures from the SCI's seasonally-adjusted report for the second quarter (June 22 – September 22) show that the unemployment rate went down 0.9 percentage point compared with the summer of 2013.

With 5.1 percent of the country’s jobless labor force, the capital Tehran registered the lowest rate of unemployment and northeastern province of North Khorasan recorded the highest rate with 16.2 percent.   

Regarding the labor force participation rate (LFPR) or economic activity rate (EAR), the ratio between the labor force and the overall size of their cohort, the report shows that 37.2 percent of the labor force (employed and unemployed) have been active during the period. The LFPR decreased 1.9 percentage point in summer 2014 compared with the same period last year; however, it increased 0.1 percentage point from the rate recorded in the spring.

The data also shows that the underemployed comprise 8.6 percent of the total employed population, while this rate has been higher for men than for women and also higher in cities compared to rural areas.

Meanwhile, the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan recorded the highest LFPR rate (42.3 percent) while the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan had the lowest rate of the same in the summer (28.6 percent).

Across various economic sectors, the service sector with 47.4 percent contributed the biggest share to the employment rate. The industrial (33.6 percent) and agriculture (19.0 percent) sectors were ranked second and third, respectively, in this regard.

The report indicates that 22.9 percent of the young population (from 15 to 24 years old) has been unemployed during the summer, which shows a 1 percent drop compared to the same period last year. The figures also show 1.9 percent decline compared with spring. The number of unemployed young women was higher than men during the June-September period.

According to the SCI, 20.2 percent of the young population (from 15 to 29 years old) has been unemployed in this period, which shows 0.9 percent decrease comparing to the same period last year and 2.0 percent decline as compared with spring of the current Iranian year.

Additionally, analyzing the share of the employed labor force aged more than 15 years, working about 49 hours per week, asserts that 40.2 percent of employed people work more than 49 hours per week, which surpasses the standard working hours.

Experts say inflation, output gap, economic uncertainty associated with an unstable currency, and the devastating impact of Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s are among the main causes of increasing unemployment in Iran.

The SCI figures have differences with the Central Bank of Iran’s unemployment report. The central bank is the official body in charge of releasing economic indicators in Iran.

Based on statistics provided by the CBI, the unemployment rate increased to 10.7% in the second quarter of the current Iranian year (June 23-August 22) from 10.5% in the first quarter (March 21-June 22).

Unemployment rate in the country averaged 11.76% from 2001 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 14.7% in the first quarter of 2002 and a record low of 9.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008.