Fed up with Talk, Iranians semand Action on jobs

The Rouhani administration’s plan to create new jobs is especially focused on tourism, information and communications technology, the environment and the energy sector.

While the administration says that its jobs packages will reduce the unemployment rate over the current Iranian year, critics have expressed doubt, saying that these initiatives are not enough. Labor market analyst Hamid Hajj Esmaili told Mehr News Agency that the measures taken by the administration over the past three years have not been sufficient to reduce unemployment.

“Last year’s economic growth — which came from oil revenue rather than private sector activity — was low. If gross domestic product [growth] is attained through activities by the private sector and cooperative enterprises rather than the government sector, then employment will be boosted,” Esmaili said.

The administration has furthermore stated that it will reduce the unemployment rate to single digits by the end of its term next summer — an objective some experts call unrealistic, arguing that more time will be needed.

But whether the number of the jobless is 2.5 or 3.5 million, as officially stated — or even as high as 10 million, according to unofficial estimates — it is clear that the Rouhani administration has its work cut out for it in the coming months. If anything, fulfilling his campaign promise of reducing unemployment, especially among the youth and college graduates, could be Rouhani’s ticket to re-election next year.

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