Greater economic activity in the housing, industry and mining sectors resulted in the unemployment rate falling from 11.3 per cent in the previous Iranian year, according to the ministry.

“The unemployment rate in the country has dropped to around 10 per cent despite the increase in the country’s active population,” says Jahromi.

Every percentage point drop in the unemployment rate implies the creation of about 245,000 jobs, given that Iran’s active work force is estimated at 24.5 million people, according to Jahromi.

The government aims to cut unemployment to just 8.4 per cent by 2010 when the country’s current five-year economic development plan comes to an end.