Iran Economy NewsIranian Officials Deceptively Play with Unemployment Statistics

Iranian Officials Deceptively Play with Unemployment Statistics

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The Iranian government’s corrupt and incompetent officials have presented a new show with their lies about the statistics of unemployment.

Experts from the Parliamentary Research Center and analysts outside the government circle have concluded that the Iranian labor market’s situation is very different from the figures of the Government Statistics Compilation Chamber.

According to official statistics, the unemployment rate has dropped by 1.1 percent this spring compared to last spring. How is it possible?

Will the unemployment rate fall by one percent when many state-owned enterprises have been closed as well as shutters of market shops?

Of course, officials would deceive society; however, no one would be duped but themselves.

Therefore, according to the spring study of Iran’s labor market affiliated to Hassan Rouhani’s government, the country has experienced a 1.1-percent drop in unemployment compared to the spring of 2019. However, it is worth noting that the inactive population has increased significantly in the same period.

“Therefore, the decrease in the unemployment rate was due to the reduction of the participation rate, and the improvement of this index cannot show progress in the labor market situation,” Eghtesad News website wrote on 22 November. “In fact, in such a situation, the unemployment rate is a completely misleading indicator for analyzing the labor market.” 

The study of the active and inactive population of the working-age community is always a crucial indicator in the labor market. The unfavorable situation of the labor market and the closure of some businesses, as well as the deep economic crises left over from the years of stagflation, have had the most significant impact on the active population’s developments.

In this context, the demand for the working force decreased, which means that the active population has also reduced. This summer, the government registered more than 26 million working-age people—either employed or unemployed—as the workforce population.

“Also, in the summer of 2020, compared to the same period of the previous year, more than 1.7 million people left the labor market, over 1.1 million of whom were women… In turn, these demographic changes have reduced the rate of economic participation compared to the same period last year,” Shargh daily wrote on 22 November.

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“Evaluation of the Summer 2020 Labor Force Survey shows that the employed population has decreased by about 1.209 million people and the unemployed population has decreased by 417,000 people, while the inactive population has increased by 2.311 million citizens,” Eghtesad Online website reported on 28 October.

Of course, the decline in the working population in the economy’s all sectors has not been alike. Labor market findings show that the share of the active people in the service sector decreased by 819,000. Also, the working population in the agricultural and industrial sectors decreased by 347,000 and 432,000, respectively. Meanwhile, this summer’s employed population of the farming industry had negative growth of 7.4 percent, and the industrial and service sectors’ population had a negative decline of 5 percent and 6.7 percent compared to last year’s same quarter.

“Statistical studies also show that 73.2 percent of the total unemployed in the country in the summer of 2020 were in the age group of 18-35 years. If we consider the population under 18 years of age, a total of 74.2 percent of the total unemployed were under 35 years old and only 25 percent of them were over 35 years old,” Donya-e-Eghtesad daily wrote on 28 October.

In its spring report, the Parliamentary Research Center outlined a glimpse of today’s economic realities in Iran. A significant proportion of young people looking for a job until last year, but due to failure in this endeavor, have abandoned the job search altogether.

In other words, many young men, and women, became frustrated and hopeless and do not search for a suitable job anymore. This unfortunate situation, of course, in government statistics, shows that the unemployment rate has fallen.

Iran’s government gracefully publish such misleading statistics in its media. Previously, there was a debate about who is basically employed. According to official indicators, the government did consider each person who works one hour a week as employed. However, now the debate has passed over these deceptions and statistics.

According to the Research Center, 8.41 percent of the population aged 15 and over are economically active, i.e. they are in the employed or unemployed job-seeking group. Also, more than 58 percent of Iran’s working-age population do not seek a career at all.

Also, the summer of this year’s economic participation rate decreased by 3.2 percent compared to the same season last year. Therefore, in every aspect and calculation, unemployment in Iran is many times what the government is trying to insinuate.

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