New Kurdistan survey shows high youth unemployment, low income

A new survey released on Thursday showed that 87 percent of households in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq earn less than 850 dollars per month and that young people are having great difficulty finding jobs.
author_image Wladimir van Wilgenburg

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A new survey released on Thursday showed that 87 percent of households in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq earn less than 850 dollars per month and that young people are having great difficulty finding employment.

The survey, compiled by the Kurdistan Region Statistics Office (KRSO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides a comprehensive profile of the current population demographics, employment, income, housing, household possessions, literacy, and education levels. 

The report suggests that the youth in Kurdistan have substantial difficulty finding jobs. More than 20 percent of those between 18 and 34 are outside of the workforce and are often reported to have lost hope of finding gainful employment. 

Just over 40 percent of the region’s population aged between 15 and 64 is listed an active part of the public sector labor force.

35 percent of the population is younger than 15 years, 61 percent are in the afore-mentioned 15-65 bracket, and 4 percent is 65 or above. The average family size is 5.1 members and a majority of families in Kurdistan currently enjoy an adequate standard of living.

“Nearly all possess most common household appliances (television, stove or refrigerator). Three-quarters of all families own the house they live in connected to the public water (90 percent) and electricity networks and equipped with sanitation facilities,” the report reads.

According to the same survey, the Kurdistan Region currently has a population of 5,755,043.

The 2014-2017 war against the Islamic State has had a severe impact. From the start of the crisis, the Kurdistan Region has provided refuge to more than one million displaced Iraqis and continues to host more than 800,000 internally displaced persons.

“The information in this survey establishes a reference base for future statistical studies, and will assist the Kurdistan Regional Government with better planning and allocation of resources,” said Dr. Ali Sindi, Minister of Planning for the region. 

Editing by John J. Catherine