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Iran's unemployment rate drops to 11.8 percent

Source: Mehr News Agency

Iran's unemployment rate stood at 11.8 percent in the third quarter of the current calendar year, ended on December 21, 2011, marking a 0.3 percent decrease on the figures for the same period last year, the Statistical Center of Iran reported on Wednesday.

Unemployment rate at different provinces of Iran
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The report put the country's jobless population during the three-month period at over 2.6 million.

Deputy Majlis speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar said in January that some $200 billion would need to be invested to create one million jobs annually and keep the current unemployment rate steady.

"In the most optimistic case, all the money which can be allocated to job creation will not exceed 80 billion dollars. So, to create one million jobs annually, the country faces $120 billion deficit," Bahonar told ILNA news agency.

The nation's working population was 25 million in the previous calendar year.

Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami has said that the country plans to cut its unemployment rate to seven percent by the end of 2012, in line with the fifth socio-economic development plan (2010-2015).

The ministry has proposed a plan for sending up to 100,000 laborers abroad by 2015 in a bid to ease unemployment.

Eighteen countries have been identified as the targets for the Iranian workforce.

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