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Iran unemployment rate moves down at 10.7% in year ending March: SCI

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s statistics office says joblessness dropped by 1.5% in the year ending late March.

The Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has issued its latest figures on unemployment in Iran, saying the country’s average joblessness rate for the year ending late March edged down to stand at 10.7 percent.

The SCI report, covered in a Saturday report by the official IRNA agency, said that annual unemployment rate dropped by 1.5 percent compared to figures recorded in March 2019.

It said the number of jobs in the country increased by 430,000 over the period to reach a total of 24.274 million.

The services topped the list of economic sectors with highest rate of employment at 50.3 percent, followed by the industries at 32 percent and agriculture at 17.7 percent, showed the SCI figures.

The youth unemployment rate, or jobless people in the age group of 15-24, was around 26 percent, said the report, adding the 17.9 percent of people between 18 and 39 were unemployed over the past calendar year.

Both age groups reported lower joblessness rate compared to the previous 12-month period, it said.

The figures come against the backdrop of reports suggesting that the Iranian economy is emerging from the impacts of the American sanctions that were imposed two years ago and were meant curb the country’s access to lucrative oil incomes.

Experts believe the sanctions have helped create more opportunities in the Iranian economy by diversifying it away from oil.

Recent government data suggest sectors like agriculture and metals industries grew over the past calendar year helping create more jobs for the youth in the country.

The yearly report published by the SCI on Saturday is a boost on figures for third quarter when unemployment rate had been measured at 10.6 percent, down 1.2 percent compared to December 2018.

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