Iran General NewsIran jobless rate tops 10%

Iran jobless rate tops 10%

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ImageAFP: More than one in 10 people in Iran's workforce are now without jobs, Labour Minister Mohammad Jahromi said in comments published on Thursday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — More than one in 10 people in Iran's workforce are now without jobs, Labour Minister Mohammad Jahromi said in comments published on Thursday.

"Unemployment has gone from 9.6 percent in the spring to 10.2 percent in the summer," Jahromi said in the Sarmayeh economic newspaper.

Jahromi said that 15.6 percent of those without work were university graduates, but gave no further details.

In March, the labour minister hailed what he said was a continuing fall in unemployment from 11.3 percent in the Iranian year from March 2006-7, to 10.6 percent in 2007-8.

Mohammad Madad, the head of Iran's statistics centre, said in May that more than a quarter of young Iranians were unemployed and that the overall jobless rate for the entire active population was 11.9 percent.

Unofficial estimates place unemployment at around three million people.

Half of Iran's 70 million population is under 30 and the legal working age is 15.

The deputy head of the statistics centre, Alireza Zahedian, told the government newspaper Iran that he expected the active population to increase from 24 million to 39 million within six years.

According to the centre, more than one million jobs should be created each year in order to keep unemployment at current levels.

In recent months the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stressed that its policy of providing small businesses with subsidies and low-interest loans had helped keep unemployment under 10 percent.

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