Domestic Economy

Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly in Autumn

Unemployment Rate  Rises Slightly in Autumn Unemployment Rate  Rises Slightly in Autumn

Unemployment rose to 10.5 percent in autumn (September 23-Decemebr 21) from 9.5 percent in summer, the Statistical Center of Iran reported on Friday.

Compared to the autumn of 2013, the rate is 0.2 percent up this year, the seasonally-adjusted report added.

With 6.4 percent of the country's unemployed population, the province of Hamedan registered the lowest rate of joblessness, while Kermanshah recorded the highest with 15.3 percent.

As for the labor force participation rate (LFPR), also known as economic activity rate (EAR), which is defined as the ratio between the labor force and the overall size of their cohort, the report shows that 37.3 percent of the labor force (employed and unemployed) have been active during the period (autumn). The LFPR increased 0.6 percent in autumn 2014 compared with the same period last year and increased 0.1 percent from the rate recorded in summer.

The LFPR for women was less than that for men, and it was higher in urban areas compared to villages, the report said.

The data also shows that the underemployed constitute 9.5 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 northeastern province of North Khorasan recorded the highest LFPR rate (43.1 percent), while the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan had the lowest rate (29.0 percent) in autumn.

Across various economic sectors, the service sector with 48.8 percent had the biggest contribution to the employment rate, followed by the industrial and agriculture sectors with 34.4 percent and 16.8 percent respectively.

The report also indicates that 25.7 percent of the population aged between 15 and 24 years old was unemployed in autumn, which shows a 1.4 percent rise compared to the same period last year and a 2.8 percent increase compared with summer. The number of unemployed young women was higher compared to men.

It also shows 38.2 percent of the employed people work more than 49 hours per week, which is above the standard.

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

The unemployment rate in the country averaged 11.76% between 2001 and 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.

The SCI's figures of unemployment have some differences with that of the Central Bank of Iran's (CBI), which is regarded as the official body in charge of releasing economic indicators in Iran.