Economy, Domestic Economy

Labor Force Participation Rate Improves

Labor Force Participation Rate Improves Labor Force Participation Rate Improves

Labor force participation rate rose to 38.2% in the last Iranian year (ended March 19) from 37.2% the year before, said government spokesman.

Addressing his first press conference in the new Iranian year (started March 20), Mohammad Baqer Nobakht added that the increase in the labor force participation rate sent the country’s active population up to 24,701,000, which means 882,000 new applicants entered the job market, IRNA reported.

“The agriculture sector absorbed 149,000 of the entrants, whereas services and industrial sectors employed 562,000 and 44,000 of the job seekers, respectively,” he said, adding that the remaining 214,000 failed to land a job last year.

According to Nobakht, last year saw the country’s employed population rise to 21,971,000 from 21,304,000 in the preceding year.

“Of the 36,000 manufacturing facilities located in cities and industrial towns, 7,000 are inactive,” he said, noting that their operation would create as many as 132,000 jobs.

According to the latest figures released by the Statistical Center of Iran, the unemployment rate in the third quarter of last Iranian year (Sept. 23-Dec. 21, 2015) stood at 10.7%. The figure registered a 0.2% rise compared with the corresponding period of the year before and a 0.2% drop compared with the second quarter (June 22-September 22).

The data also show 9% of men and 18.9% of women of ages 10 and above were jobless in autumn. The unemployment rate was 11.7% for urban areas and 8.1% for rural areas.

Speaking on the sidelines of a forum dubbed “JCPOA Implementation: A New Chapter in Iran’s Economy” back in January, Minster of Labor, Cooperatives and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei said the unemployment rate will be single-digit by the end of President Hassan Rouhani’s presidential term.

Earlier, Rabiei commented that job creation is a serious challenge and a costly endeavor facing the administration of President Hassan Rouhani.

“A 50-million-rial (more than $1,200) budget is needed for every single job to be created inside the country,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA, adding that in expensive fields such as oil and petrochemical sectors, the amount goes up to 20 billion rials (more than $500,000).

“The government plans to encourage the private sector to take a more active role in job creation,” Rabiee said.

The government is also considering overseas employment as a strategy to tackle unemployment.