Iranian job market shifting toward female workforce

September 4, 2017

TEHRAN – An investigation into the job market in Iran shows that employment among women has decreased in comparison with men during 2006-2013, but the trend has reversed over the past three years.

Although women’s participation rate has reached 17 percent in recent years, but the rate of women’s entrance to the job market is now more than 50 percent, according to Masoud Nili, a top economic aide of President Hassan Rouhani.

Speaking at the First International Workshop on Labor Market Studies which was held in Tehran on September 2-3, Nili said that gender gap is a characteristic of the Iranian job market.

Considering investments made in the higher education sector, women will play a key role in the Iranian job market in coming years, he added.

The lowest and the highest participation rates of women in Iran were related to 1996 and 2016, respectively, Nili said, adding, women and educated youths are entering the job market and women of 30 years of age and above are more active in the labor market.

If there is an intention to create 100,000 jobs for every one percent of economic growth, there should be a quality growth, Nili emphasized. 

“We have been witnessing developments in the labor market since 2013. Now, entry to the market is increasing while the number of university students is decreasing and many youths are not interested in entering the universities, he stated.

Jobless rate among women increased in past decade: minister

The unemployment rate in Iran has reached 12.6 percent which is two times more than the average world unemployment rate (5.7 percent). 

In other words, out of the 200 million jobless population of the world, Iran has a share of 1.6 percent of unemployed people making up a population of 3.2 million jobless, Ali Rabiei, Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare said here on Sunday in the opening ceremony of the First International Workshop on Labor Market Studies.

Since the past four years, employment has been the focus of all economic discussions and women’s employment situation had a considerable change during the past 2 decades, the minister added.

Women’s unemployment was not considered in the unemployment statistics during the past four years because there was no interest for their presence in labor market and women were considered as the inactive economic population, Rabiei stated.

The growing number of women entering universities, and improvement of working environment for women, have changed the unemployment rate of women and made its number higher than men’s unemployment rate, he noted.

Women’s unemployment rate in 1996 was four percent while it reached to 20 percent in 2016, the minister of labor announced.

The unemployment rate is much higher among educated women and it has reached to 31 percent, Rabiei expressed.

Iran is facing with low investment rate and low production rate. Smuggling, regional security problems, and oil price change influence the labor market directly or indirectly, the minister concluded.

NM/MG

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