By Mahmoud Hakamian
The rate of unemployment among Iranian university graduates had increased to 40%, according to the head of the Statistical Center of Iran.
The Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), quoted Omid Ali Parsa as saying: “The rate of unemployment among our university graduates has increased. 40% of unemployed people are university graduates.”
While this is, of course, a problem in itself, the bigger problem is that it foretells a major crisis in terms of unemployment, something that the International Labor Organization (ILO) says happens when a country’s youth unemployment rate is more than double the general unemployment rate.
This high level of youth unemployment, coupled with Iran’s major economic problems and widespread social crises, has led many young people in Iran to wonder about their future. In fact, many feel like there is no point pursuing higher education or a university degree because it gives them no edge in the future job market.
But the young and the educated are far from the only people suffering through the Iranian Regime’s unemployment crisis. Thanks to the mullahs’ mismanagement and corruption, many ordinary Iranians have become unemployed and are struggling to make ends meet. Some 80% of Iranians are now living in poverty.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised on the campaign trail in 2013 that he would fight unemployment, even vowing to create millions of jobs in his first 100 days in office. This has not happened. Worse still, experts believe that the actual level of unemployment in Iran is much higher than the rates announced because the Regime has a habit of hiding news that is damaging to them.
Of course, the unemployment problem is only destined to grow as Iran’s population increases and new graduates start looking for work. Iranian economist Siamak Shojaie said that a lack of planning is the reason that the Iranian Regime is failing to curb unemployment, noting that Iran’s workforce is increasing by 2.5% per year, so the Regime would need to create 3 million jobs a year, just to keep the unemployment rate steady.
Shojaie said that a healthy economy must be able to provide its citizens with access to food, clothing, hygiene, education, and healthcare before it can create jobs. The majority of Iranians struggle to get enough food to eat, while the Regime has made huge cuts to the hygiene and health budget for next year and teachers are already up in arms about the dire state of education.