MEK Iran: Unemployment Rate Rises Amid Coronavirus Health Crisis
The people of Iran have been suffering from economic hardship for many years now. With every year that passes, the people of Iran have become poorer and poorer and more and more people are falling into the absolute poverty category.
And now, the people of Iran are facing further turmoil. With the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 across the country, thousands of people have already died and many thousands more have become sick.
The poorest in the country have no chance of being able to afford the most basic of essential items and they are the ones that are among the most vulnerable. Many are sick with underlying health conditions that they cannot treat.
Making the situation even worse is the fact that many workers across the country are being laid off, in particular in the provinces that have been worst hit by the Coronavirus outbreak. In these areas, some 50 percent of laborers have lost their jobs – the sole income for many families.
This is especially distressing when it is considered that the majority of laborers in the country do not have unemployment insurance. Many do not even earn minimum wage.
Labour activists have been particularly concerned about the status of workers since the Coronavirus outbreak started. They called on the government to supply workers with basic hygiene items as well as food. Of course, this has not happened, and not only are workers falling ill, but they are being put at massive risk.
The employment situation in Iran has been appalling for decades and the situation has been getting worse as the years go on. Now, the biggest crisis workers face are health-related and the lack of job security.
Because of the economic effects of the health crisis, factories have had no choice but to close. Already, 95 percent of workers lack job security and this has increased sharply because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
It is very difficult to find out figures of unemployment because the Iranian government fails to gather accurate statistics, and any that are announced or published have been highly understated. However, the head of the Qom Association of Construction Workers has said that “more than 50-60% of construction workers” in the whole province have lost their jobs since the Coronavirus outbreak. Qom is the epicenter of the health crisis.
Iranians have just celebrated Nowruz, Iranian new year, and this latest crisis has made it a very unsettling and sad occasion for many. Celebrations have been overshadowed with uncertainty and fear for what the immediate future holds for them.
There are many other workers in the country that have been made unemployed, in particular in the service sector. There are many contract workers, especially in hotels, restaurants, and cafés that are now unemployed.
The Iranian regime has failed to protect workers, and the wider population, from the risks of COVID-19. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has tried to put emphasis on the continuance of work during this time, but it has failed to put the most basic of sanitary measures in place.