Wednesday, January 30

Jobless challenges in Iran

You want to destroy an educated man's soul? keep him unemployed. There is nothing like destroying hope and specially his belief that he can be all he can be. And when I read this, I felt bad for the Iranian youth. I quote the dry statistic first:

A poll by Iran Economics, a leading business monthly, found the median forecast among 12 economists, some of them working in government, was 14.5 per cent. But the rate is even worse when the number of underemployed people is taken into account. Some economists suggest that as much as a quarter of Iran’s 21m-strong population eligible for work is either unemployed or underemployed.

but here's the human element:

“I’ve been looking for a job since graduation,” says the 25-year-old, who finished university two years ago. “I took tests to enter government banks but I didn’t succeed and I applied at the Tehran city council but they weren’t hiring.”“I want to have a job – I’d really like to work – so naturally it’s not very pleasant not to be able to find one,” she says.


Mohammad bought a car so that his son, who has struggled to find a job since finishing school, could work as a taxi driver. He was still paying the instalments on that car when he realised, after retiring from his job in a government ministry, that he needed to drive too.

“My daughter is now 23 but I can’t afford the IR60m ($6,400, €4,300, £3,200) it will cost for her to get married,” he says, adding that his daughter cannot contribute because there are no suitable jobs for her either.

“There are not enough jobs out there for young ­people,” says Mohammad. “A young man can get a job if he has a wealthy father because his father can invest in a business for him. But otherwise there is nothing but being a taxi driver or day labourer.”

Perhaps President Ahmadinejad could concentrate on economics rather than fulminating very stupidly about Israel. But hey, his knowledge of economics is, well, rather along the lines of the Robert Mugabe School of Economics.

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