Armenia still fails to reduce unemployment rate

16 October 2017 19:00 (UTC+04:00)

By Rashid Shirinov

The number of unemployed in Armenia continues to grow, but the state agencies of the country continue to present strange statistics.

For instance, head of the State Employment Center of Armenia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Artak Mangasaryan has recently told reporters that the number of the registered job seekers is 6,000 less this year as compared to 2016.

This statement of the Armenian official could mean that Armenia really fights the problem of unemployment, and therefore the number of job applicants has become smaller. However, the reality represents the opposite. Many independent experts in Armenia note that in fact, the number of those seeking work is much higher – the thing is, not many of them register in employment centers.

Armenia’s population terribly suffers from unemployment, which is the highest among the CIS countries, making up 19 percent. With every hundred new workplaces, several hundred of them are getting closed. Today, more than 200,000 of economically active people are unemployed in Armenia, and this is only the official data.

Recently, hundreds of unemployed people visited a job fair organized in the Armenian city of Gyumri. However, many of them could not get recruited.

One of the reasons is the lack of vacancies. There are about 11,500 unemployed people in Gyumri, but the number of job openings at the fair was only 800. The second reason is that many companies do not want to hire people of mature age.

“I am a seamstress, I worked in Russia for 14 years, and I was very well paid. Then my mother got sick and I had to return back to Armenia. But I cannot find a job here – wherever I go I get refused, they only hire young people up to 35 years old,” a resident of Gyumri Nune Asatryan complains.

There are many people like Nune, who cannot find a job because of their age, but a more terrible situation is when the Armenian youth remains unemployed for many years. Obviously, the undeveloped Armenian economy is one of the main reasons for this. The Armenian population periodically takes to the streets in order to hold a protest, where they require the government to open new jobs in the country. However, given the poor economic situation in the country, Armenian authorities still fail to meet the demand of thousands of Armenians.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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