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Iran official: Unemployment rampant among youth, women

Deputy Labor Minister for Planning and Policy Affairs Sadeq Bakhtiari said in Tehran on Monday that the unemployment rate among the youth 15-29 years of age is close to 28.4 percent, IRNA reported.

Speaking at a seminar on strategic planning for employment creation, he added the unemployment situation in the country is alarming and 'although employment opportunities are increasing they are inadequate for job seekers'.

Based on the latest figures released by the Iran Statistical Center the country's unemployment rate is 12.8 percent, and rate of unemployment among women is 22.4 percent.

"Also, 43.2 percent of women aged between 15-20 are without jobs," Bakhtiari underlined.

He also said Labor Ministry has embarked on a joint review of job creation schemes with International Labor Organization (ILO) and United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO), the findings of which is to be presented in this seminar.

He said that menace of unemployment is not exclusive to Iran and many countries face the same problems.

The aim of holding the labor market study is to highlight and explore international experiences in mitigating the employment rate.

The plan focuses on five principles of macro economic, small-medium workshops, social dialogue, developments of skills and social security policies and their interrelations with employment policies.

Also speaking at the seminar, was the ILO's Asian Bureau Chief Rashid Amjad.

He said attaining social quality and provisions for creating 'dignified employment opportunities' needs economic growth which rests on providing social and economic infrastructure.

Any employment creation plan should rely in the medium-term on structural reform to reduce production and investments costs.

He further said cross-country experiences also show that traditional methods of conducting monetary and fiscal policies are ineffective and frequent changes in them (policies) will only lead to higher inflation which bodes ill for security of investments and leads to higher unemployment.

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Safdar Hosseini said here last month that over 100,000 employment opportunities will be created through the Emergency Job Creation Plan by the end of the current Iranian year.

He added that the credit allotted to the plans exceeds rls 3,000 billion and the plan will be followed up in earnest this year.

He said a joint vocational project with Germany, Italy, Belgium as well as establishing a center for learning-training center of close to 500,000 of relevant types of skills for domestic employment markets is among the policies to upgrade the pool of technical skills in the country.

He also said two percentage point has been shaved off from the unemployment rate, adding the official figures referred to unemployment of 12.5 percent last year compared to 14.5 percent in the previous year.

He said President Khatami has talked of 900,000 new jobs this year which with an eight percentage rate in the gross domestic product (GDP) is possible to generate close to 690,000 employment opportunities.

The participation of the private sector could be the main and most important factor in generating employment and jobs, Hosseini underlined.

... Payvand News - 7/1/03 ... --

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