Thirty percent of Iranian youth between the ages of 15-24 neither work nor study, according to figures published by the Labor Ministry and quoted by ILNA news website.
The figures are based on an international statistical model called NEET, an acronym for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”. NEET is commonly employed as a socio-economic measurement in many developed countries, including Japan, South Korea, the United States and Canada.
The NEET figures are usually compatible with other unemployment figures based on government-generated statistics. In Iran also, the 30 percent figure is close to the official rate of youth unemployment, which is said to be 26 percent.
Iran’s economy has had anemic growth since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, burdened by war in the 1980s, various international sanctions and an inefficient economic system of government ownership, control and meddling. This has had a negative impact on youth employment, especially in the last decade when intense sanctions have handicapped oil exports and investments.
The Labor Ministry figures show that 30 percent of the youth have either quit studying, or left out of the educational system, without being integrated into the job market.
In mass anti-government protests in 2017 and 2018, teenagers and young people had a large presence, demanding an end to corruption, social restrictions and demanding jobs.