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Unemployment rate in Kurdistan is 14%

By Rudaw 21/9/2016
Ali Sindi, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s minister of planning. Photo: Rudaw video
Ali Sindi, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s minister of planning. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Unemployment in the Kurdistan Region has hit 14% and is much higher among women and youth. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has appealed for help from world economic bodies to implement an economic reform plan to boost private sector employment. 

“The unemployment, before in 2013, was 6.5%, which by world standards is reasonable. But in 2014 the rate increased to 14%,” Ali Sindi, the KRG’s minister of planning, said at the KRG Social Protection Strategic Framework conference in Erbil on Wednesday. 

The KRG ministry of planning announced a three-year reform plan in partnership with the World Bank in May to reboot the economy and overcome a severe financial crisis that has gripped the region for more than two years.

“I ask the international community especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to support implementation of the KRG reform plan,” Sindi said on Wednesday.

The three year strategic plan involves a boost to the private sector as the majority of the Kurdistan Region population relies on the public sector for an income. “53% of Kurdistan’s people rely on the public sector for their livelihood,” Mohammed Hawdyani, KRG minister of labor and social affairs, said at the conference on Wednesday.

“The statistics show that the social security laws were not successful in Kurdistan,” Hawdyani added.

The KRG reform plan was launched in May and will be implemented over 3 years, through to 2020. Via this plan, the KRG wants to create more job opportunities and establish a fund for paying pensions and social security for the private sector labor force.

The unemployment rate has been increasing in the Kurdistan Region, especially among youth and women. According to statistics, the unemployment rate among women is 29.4% and among men is 9.7%.

Among Kurdish youth between the ages of 15 and 24, the unemployment is 24% for men and 69% for women. 

Women’s participation in the economy is at 14.8%.

There are 1.3 million people in the labor force in the Kurdistan Region, with 247,000 retired, and 90,000 receiving social security support.

Within the past four years, the salary and pension load on the government has doubled, demanding a hefty portion of the national budget. 

European Union foreign ministers in Brussels and G7 leaders in Japan in May pledged $3.6 billion in loans to Iraq, stating that the Kurdistan Region must also benefit from these loans.


me | 21/9/2016
No wonder with all the political corruption soaking up all the wealth of Kurdistan, get real and stop these political thieves.
dutchnational | 21/9/2016
KRG is now paying the price for their politial clientism and rentner mentality. They forgot that when you are a rentner, you are living of capital. KRG had no capital and as the inflow of easy money stopped, so did the economy. The inflow of easy money could have been spent productively, building infrastructure, starting industries. Instead it was spent in non productive salaries, in corruption and bribes, in consumerism. Stupid politicians
FAUthman | 21/9/2016
Will money ever trickle down to Kurdistan from IMF or from anywhere else? 1-From IMF? Baghdad says we don't want IMF money with the conditions attached: "You must pay IOCs, you must pay Kurdistan", says IMF. Baghdad says "No". 2-From Japan as bilateral loan arrangements between Iraq and Japan. Will Kurds get any of this Japanese money? 3-Is there no way Kurds can get loans from Int. Institutions or from governments without being a sovereign state? You can float bonds but if anyone buys your bonds they will charge you an arm and a leg in interest. Some of you may have attended this conference and could have few answers.
Circassian 4Ever | 22/9/2016
Ouch! Let's hope that Mosul is liberated early next year and the Peshmerga can take a much needed rest. The defeat of ISIS in Iraq is essential to the financial health of the KRG.

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