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Iran's unemployment rate to hit 50% for 15-29 age group in two years

9/5/04 Tehran, Sept 5, IRNA -- A report commissioned by the Management and Planing Organization (MPO) and Iran Youth Organization (IYO) released on Sunday predicted that if the annual unemployment rate of 13.2 percent holds up then the jobless rate among 15-29 age group will reach 52 percent within two years.

It added currently over 31 percent of the 15 to 29 years old are unemployed.

The current unemployment rate in the age brackets 15-19 and 20-24 years is 34 percent and for 25-29 years the figure stands at 16 percent.

In 1996-1997 the jobless rate stood at 14.8 percent among the 15 to 29 year group increasing to 27.5 percent in the Iranian year ending March 20, 2001.

"On the average the unemployment rate was 13.2 percent during the period," the report added.

The report further cautions on adverse implications for the country given the importance of youth employment in shaping trends in the domestic economy and the expected wave of new entries in the below 30-year age group in the job market in the next few years.

In August, Iran and the United Nations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve the problem of youth unemployment in the country, said the head of IYO.

Speaking on the occasion of the World Youth Day, Rahim Ebadi added that youth employment, voluntarily services, development programs and promoting culture and sport in the society are the major areas of the quadrilateral MoU signed between Iran and UN.

Ebadi added that a symbolic approach to promoting festivities in the country is to hail those youth who do their best to reach to the best conditions of living on the international level.

Also, youth unemployment has skyrocketed over the past decade to some 88 million, according to a new study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which said the figures have reached an all time high with young people aged 15 to 24 now representing nearly half the world's jobless.

'Global Employment Trends for Youth 2004', a new analysis prepared by the ILO's Employment Strategy Department, found that while youth represent 25 percent of the working age population between the ages of 15 and 64, they made up as much as 47 percent of the total 186 million people out of work worldwide in 2003.

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