What is the Best Index for Unemployment?

Document Type: Editorial


1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Department of Economy, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran


A regular activity in all human societies is the evaluation and control of important socioeconomic
indices. Unemployment rate is one of these indices, which is very important in evaluating and
applying policies for control or preparation of desired changes in economy; in fact, it is a challenge
for policy makers. Employment and unemployment are 2 words that have different definitions among
people and professional centers of statistics. Since the statistics and methods applied for calculating
Iranian employed and unemployed people have been provided by Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), the
comparison of these definitions with recommended ones defined by International labor organization
(ILO) may project 2 different items. In accordance with the definition of unemployment by ILO and
SCI, each person who works at least 1 to 2 hours a week, even without receiving money, is considered
as an employed person, otherwise is named as unemployed. Considering this definition, a new
question may arise: in Iran, with consideration of location, subsistence, and labor market conditions,
could people be satisfied with their living situation? Perhaps in some countries, this definition may be
operational but not for Iranian worker community; in fact, no one in Iran and many other countries
would be satisfied with one-hour work per week as an employed person.