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Iran’s jobless rate at 9.7% in quarter to March: SCI

Iran’s unemployment rate rose 0.3% year on year to 9.7% in the quarter to late March.

Figures by the Iranian government’s statistics agency show the country’s jobless rate rose 0.3% in the quarter to March 20 compared to the same period last year to reach 9.7%.

The Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) said in a report published on Wednesday that the number of people in employment in Iran had reached 23.436 million in the three months to March, up by 263,000 from the same quarter in 2022.

The SCI said the share of people classed as economically active - either in work or looking for it - rose to 40.5% from 40.4% reported in the quarter to March last year.

Youth joblessness remained elevated at 24.2% in the March quarter, up 1.18% year on year, while unemployment rate among the Iranian population of 18-35 year olds rose 0.8% to 17.4% over the same period, showed the figures.

The SCI said the Iranian services sector had accounted for 53.7% of all jobs in the country over the quarter to late March, adding that employment rate at manufacturing and agriculture sectors had reached 33.2% and 13%, respectively.

Iran has been posting relatively low unemployment figures since the country emerged from the coronavirus pandemic nearly two years ago.

That comes as the country has introduced a series of economic diversification programs in recent years to tackle the impacts of US sanctions on its oil exports revenues.

Experts say the policy has led to increased number of jobs in the Iranian manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

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