Counting students and housewives among the ranks of the employed has helped lower Iran's jobless rate, an official at the statistics office said in remarks published on Saturday.
The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is widely expected to stand for re-election in June, recently said the country's unemployment rate had fallen below 10 percent.
The statistics official was quoted as saying that students and housewives had been included in groups regarded as employed and that this has contributed to lowering the rate. He did not say how they were treated previously in the statistics.
"Considering these groups of people as employed caused the unemployment rate to fall in the autumn compared to the summer," the official, identified only by his last name Anari, said. He did not give any figures or other details.
The comments, originally carried by the semi-official Fars News Agency, were published in the Sarmayeh business daily and also in another Iranian newspaper.
An Iranian development economist this month said the unofficial unemployment rate was considerably higher than the official figure of around 10 percent.
Including also those who were under-employed, the rate was around 20-25 percent, the economist told Reuters, declining to be named.
He also said Iran's economy only created about half of the 1 million jobs it needed every year to absorb newcomers in the labour market.
Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2009, 16:31