Majority of Iranians Living Under Poverty Line Have Jobs, Report Shows

The Majlis (Iranian Parliament) Research Center released a report earlier this month showing that 59 percent of people who live under the poverty line in the country hold full-time jobs. Another 30 percent are retirees or receive unemployment benefits, and only 5 percent are unemployed. A further 2 percent are families, and the remaining 4 percent consist of a wide range of individuals including the homeless.

The report noted that families with a monthly income of $528 or less were considered to be living under the poverty line. It also showed that 70 percent of the country’s labor force received the minimum wage.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Labor Council set the living wage for a family of four and the minimum wage for workers, respectively, at $1,090 and $360 a month.

According to the report, 85 percent of Iran’s workers are on short-term contracts, which means that they have no job security. Nearly 14 million workers and their families have social security insurance.

A delay in the ratification of Clause 1 of Article 7 of the Labor Law by the government has enabled many employers to pay workers on short-term contracts the minimum wage, which significantly reduces their mandatory workplace insurance and social security contributions to the Welfare Organization.

Recent data released by the government showed that between 2005 and 2017, only 35 percent of those with full-time jobs had workplace insurance. The figure rose to 41 percent in 2017, but has stayed at that level in the past two years, which means that 59 percent of the country’s labor force do not have workplace and unemployment insurance and are not in a pension scheme.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]