By Shahriar Kia

The rate of unemployment in Iran in the past few years has been extremely high.

Iran regime’s official statistics (that usually have to be taken with a pinch of salt because they are almost always over or understated to make situations look less serious than they actually are) show that there were more than 23 million unemployed people in the country during the last calendar year that ran from 21st March 2018 to 20th March 2019).

This represents 12 per cent of the population. However, looking at the participation rate (the total of all people in employment divided by the total population that is of working age), we see that the current rate is 40.5 per cent.

It must also be noted that the breakdown of employment must be taken into consideration. For example, how many people are working part time? It must also not be forgotten that the Iranian regime does not differentiate between those that work 70 hour weeks and those on zero hour contracts.

However, it seems that the effects of the tough economic sanctions imposed by the United States have not yet started to fully impact the job market. However, it will not last long and it is expected that the months to come will show signs of a worsening crisis.

Purchasing power is on the decline and inflation statistics for March this year show that in the space of just 12 months, the average costs per household have increased by more than 50 per cent when compared to the prior year. Rural households and those on the poorer end of the scale have experienced an even higher increase.

Those that were once economically inactive (homemakers, students, etc) have had to try and enter the job market, but considering the unemployment rate, it has been an impossible task for many. Furthermore, considering the growing population numbers, the number of people unemployed will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

Some areas of the country are experiencing more problems than others. During the 2018 to 2019 period, the province with the most serious unemployment issues was Kermanshah with a rate of 18.7. With a rate of approximately 16 per cent, the provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan and Khuzestan took second and third place.

The recent widespread flooding crisis has also exacerbated the situation for many, with businesses and livelihoods destroyed. The floods, or rather the regime’s lack of adequate response, has created great tension across the country. With the worsening economic crisis, which is basically due to clerical regime’s corruption and wasting the wealth of the country on the export of Terrorism and Extremism society is really balancing on the knife-edge. Another major uprising is bound to happen soon and it will be the ultimate test for the Iranian regime.

The people know that that any chances of a positive future with freedom, democracy, human rights and opportunities will only become reality with regime change.