This year will see the creation of 171,000 new jobs, according to the latest ruling by the Iraqi parliament.
Azzaman reports that the new jobs are part of the government’s efforts to fight unemployment but officials say they will not alleviate unemployment in the country, which they estimate at more than 15%.
Iraq has one of the world’s most bloated public sectors, with the government being the single largest employer in the country.
Financing civil servants, the army and security forces devours more than two thirds of the Iraqi budget, which relies almost solely on oil revenues.
Only a fraction of factories and companies, particularly those owned by the private sector, are operational, mainly due to power shortages and the influx of cheap imports.
Up to 100,000 of the newly employed will join the ranks of Iraqi security forces. The remaining 71,000 will be employed by the country’s various ministries.
The Planning Ministry’s Undersecretary Mahdi al-Allak says government employment measures “are not sufficient”, adding that unemployment “has reached unprecedented levels in the country.”
“Unemployment indicators point to more than 15%, which means there are more than one million jobless people in Iraq,” Allak said.
He said besides those without a job, nearly 30% of Iraqis only worked occasionally “on irregular part-time basis.”