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Job Searches Leave Iranians Increasingly Disappointed

IRAN -- An Iranian woman looks at goods displayed in a shop in Molavi old bazaar in Tehran, Iran, 04 March 2019
IRAN -- An Iranian woman looks at goods displayed in a shop in Molavi old bazaar in Tehran, Iran, 04 March 2019

Iranians are disappointed with their search for employment, the parliament’s Majlis Research Center (MRC) announced on July 24 in response to latest report by the Iranian Statistical Center (SCI).

Earlier, MRC had declared a significant drop in the unemployment rate in the first quarter of the Iranian calendar year (beginning March 21).

In Iran, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for jobs as a percentage of the labor force. Therefore, if the number of job seekers drops, the rate of unemployment drops, as well. In other words, those who stop looking for jobs have no impact on the unemployment rate.

The SCI’s latest report claims the rate for the population age 10 and over (activity rate) reveals that 40.5 percent of people at working age (10 years or above) are economically active, namely they are either in the employed or the unemployed group.

The report concludes that 10.8 percent of the active population (employed or unemployed but looking for a job) have been unemployed. The figure shows a 1.3 percent drop compared with the same period the previous year.

However, in its 2018 report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that the unemployment rate in Iran was nearly 13.9 percent and predicted it would reach to 15.4 percent this year.

Furthermore, according to the IMF report, the unemployment rate in Iran is expected to soar until 2024, reaching nearly 19.4 percent.
MRC maintains that the local job market is so discouraging that it has disappointed jobless people with the prospect of employment.
Discouraged unemployed females, comprising 50 percent of the active population in the country, have crucially contributed to the local unemployment rate.

"Should disappointed people not give up their job search, the national unemployment rate would have reached to 13.9 percent, which is 3.1 percent higher than the rate presented by the SCI," MRC said.
Moreover, according to the MRC, if people looked for jobs last spring, the rate of unemployment would have not only dropped but it would have risen another 1.6 percent.

The case for women's unemployment is worse than that of men since the rate of the unemployed female labor force would have reached 28.1 percent had they not stopped seeking jobs.
While the SCI says the male unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, MRC notes that if unemployed men had not been disappointed with finding jobs, the rate would have been 28.1 percent.

During the past three years leading to March 21, 2018, an annual average of 262,000 jobless people was added to the number of the unemployed persons in the country, MRC maintains. Based on the same report, out of the additional 262,000 unemployed, 153,000 are male and 102,000 female.

Comparing the spring of 2018 with the same period in 2019, MRC says, the 227,000 drop in the number of unemployed men and the 138,000 drop in the number unemployed women are also related to the fact that a significant number of them were disappointed with finding a job and ultimately became inactive on the local job market.

Based on the same factor, the number of unemployed 15- to 24-year-olds, as well as university graduates, was 20,000 less than in the previous year.