It is a good sign that people in Iran are paying increasing attention to the accuracy of government data. Before this they used to dismiss all data, especially inflation, as propaganda (see my previous posts on inflation here and here). The fact that an announcement about which government agency is authorized to release economic statistics became news last week is a sign that more people take such data seriously, as they should.
In my last post I examined if the quarterly growth in the GDP using data released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) that indicated a robust economic recovery during spring 2014. As promised, I will now review the most recent employment figures released by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI). (more…)
The most recent labor force survey (LFS) results for spring, 2014, that Iran’s Statistical Center released last week must be disappointing for Rouhani’s economics team. This survey, which is collected quarterly and is put out with remarkable speed, is the only official data that give us a sense of how the economy has been doing most recently. The short report shows job gains in agriculture (by 25%), which may be mostly seasonal, and services (by 2%), while industry lost jobs (by 1.3%). The fewer number of jobs in industry is disappointing because the main benefits of the agreement between Iran and the 5+1 signed last November were expected to come in industry. The employment picture that LFS paints for industry is not very complimentary for Rouhani’s first year in office. Industrial employment, according to LFS, has been declining since he took office a year ago. Last summer, more than 7.5 million workers were employed in industry, 9 months later fewer than 7 million are working there. Agriculture and services have also lost since then, though by less, for a total of one million jobs lost since he took office.
I have my doubts about the rate of unemployment — 10.3% — recently published by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) for fall 2013 (Iranian year 1392), so in a piece that I just published in Lobelog.com I opted to report a rate of 14% that I estimated myself from the SCI report. The difference between the published number and mine is, as in my previous post on unemployment, all in counting the reduction in the number of people in the labor force as discouraged workers and therefore unemployed in common parlance. (more…)