August 3, 2010 – According to the statistics published by the Statistical Center of Iran and Iran Central Bank, the unemployment rate in Iran has started rising since Fall 2008 and has reached 11.9% by March 2010, the largest in the past six years. While the real rate of unemployment stands higher, even the official numbers point to the increase.
According to the latest statistics, 21 provinces in the country show increase in the unemployment rate for 2009 compared with 2008. Across the country, the rate of unemployment shows an increase of 1.5% from 10.4 to 11.9% in that period. In twenty two provinces in the country, the rate has been in two digits while only 8 provinces have been able to check the rate to a single digit. Overall, the unemployment rate shows increase in 21 provinces and decline in 9. In 13 provinces, the increase in the rate has been between 1.9 to 4 percent. The province with the highest unemployment rate is that of Lorestan which had an increase of 1.9 percent with 17.1% unemployment in 2008 reaching 19% in 2009.
Khabaronline, a conservative news site close to Ali Larijani, the parliament speaker, reports that ten Iranian economist believe the real rate of unemployment to be 14.6 percent compared with the official 11.9 percent and the number is to increase to 15.9% this year. The official data already records 12.3 in 2010 showing an increase in the first months of the year. Taking the base as 40 hours week of work, the unemployment rate will still show even a higher number.
The rate of unemployment amongst the youth stays higher with 24% of those between 15 to 24 having been unemployed last Fall. 87% of the unemployed are those between the ages of 15 to 30 and amongst the unemployed youth, 45% are those with university degrees.
According to a report by Aftab news site, “the massive layoffs have been picking up since the start of the new year – i.e. March 21 – in different production enterprises in the country. After the layoffs in Saman plant, it was the turn for the workers in Saghez telecommunications, next different enterprises in Eastern Azerbaijan to Kermanshah, Bushehr Iran Sadra, Ahvaz Pipes, Saveh Iran Tefal, Shomal Industrial Agriculture, Towzingar, Havayar, and hundreds of small and large workshops. Even large companies such as Iralco, National Lead and Zinc, and Pars Wagon have not been spared.”
According to the informed sources, Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reports, “all the large manufacturing plants are in the midst of terminating their contract employees, even skilled workers with 15 years of service are among the laid off. The managers of the bankrupt industrial giants are pressuring their full time workers to accept early retirements.”
ILNA adds, “even the new pole of capitalism in Iran, i.e. the revolutionary guards does not possess the necessary management and technical know how to run these plants and it was just recently that the Khatam al Anbiya Construction (associated with the guards) had to pull out of South Pars gas project because of the sanctions. Other individuals and firms tied to the guards are after projects in shipping, export and import and even contrabands. In fact, in the last five years, the guards have entered into all the lucrative markets in Iran in an organized fashion. However, due to the lack of technical know how amongst the guards’ associates and the dealer mentality governing their economic practices, these takeovers have resulted in sluggishness and the loss of productivity in the country.”
Iran Labor Report