|200,000 Iranians receive unemployment benefits: official||
TEHRAN – About 200,000 Iranians are currently receiving unemployment benefits, Iranian Deputy Labor Minister Abul-Hassan Firouz-Abadi said.
Iran’s average unemployment rate stands at 10.5 percent, but the figure is two to three times higher for women and university graduates, the Mehr News Agency quoted Firouz-Abadi as saying on Monday.
On April 20, Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said that Iran’s unemployment rate had reached a critical level.
He criticized the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for providing huge loans to small businesses, saying that the former administration’s hasty decision has led to 800 trillion rials (about $32 billion) in bad loans.
He cited unemployment as the main challenge facing the current administration, adding that the problem can only be resolved through boosting the economy and attracting more investment.
The Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the average unemployment rate for the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, hit 10.4 percent.
Iran must create 8.5 million new jobs in the next two years, Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia said last November.
In August 2013, Iranian Deputy Labor Minister Mohammad-Hossein Forouzan-Mehr said plans were being implemented to reduce Iran’s unemployment rate to seven percent by 2015.
He added that the unemployment rate would fall by one percent each year from 2013 to 2015.
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