Farm Force Descending

Farm Force DescendingFarm Force Descending

The last labor market survey conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) in 2015, says almost half the employed rural people are active in the agriculture sector, a number equal to nearly 18% of the country’s total working-age population.

Stating that the participation rate in the farm sector has dropped during the last decade, Nariman Yusefi, head of Labor Statistics Office at the SCI said, “In the year 2005, almost 24.7% of the working-age population was active in agriculture, but the figure gradually decreased to 23.2%, 18.6%, and 17.9% in 2006, 2011 and 2014, respectively,” the Iranian Agriculture News Agency (IANA) quoted him as saying.  

“At present, from among every 100 employed people (between the ages 15 and 64), 18 are engaged in agriculture.”   

Pointing to the fact that most of the farmlands are owned by people living in rural areas he said, “At present, 4.4 million units of farmlands have been identified in the country, of which 3.4 million belong to residents of villages while 1 million are owned by non-resident farmers or official corporations and state-run institutions.”

He also pointed to the provinces with the most and least active farming population and said, “Most of the farmers (40%) work in North Khorasan Province while the figure is less than 1% in Tehran Province.”

According to the North Khorasan Agriculture Jihad office, 342,000 hectares are under cultivation of saffron, grapes, wheat, walnut, etc. in the province and annually 4 million tons of products worth $637.6 million are produced.

The survey also indicated that unemployment rate in urban farms is higher (12.6%) than rural areas (9.6%) and therefore, villagers have more chances of getting employed. The average unemployment rate for the farm sector at the national level is 11.8 %.

There are more than 64,000 villages in the country, of which 33,000 remain deserted due to years of drought and unemployment; however the job chances in the rural areas is far better than urban areas.

The survey said the highest percentage of employees (51.1%), are active in the service sector and 31% work in industries.

Most of the industrial sector employees (48.6%) are in Yazd Province while the maximum number of people active in the services sector (65.2%) is employed in Tehran province.

Additionally, the SCI study on employment in private and public sectors shows that 83% and 17% are employed in the two sectors respectively.