COSIT: Unemployment and Poverty Drop in Iraq

Poverty and unemployment levels have fallen noticeably in Iraq during the recent few years, the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT) said in a report on Sunday.

“Covering all Iraqi provinces, a 2008 survey that has been conducted in accordance with recommendations from the International Labor Organization (ILO) has shown that unemployment rates among Iraqis of no less than 15 years is 15 percent,” according to the statement, which was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Unemployment was highest among those aged between 15 and 19 years and lowest among PhD holders, the statement noted.

The results have shown a 12 percent decrease in unemployment figures, compared to 2006.

Unemployment rates registered 18 percent in 2005, 26 percent in 2004 and 28 percent in 2003.

Another social and economic survey has revealed that seven million Iraqis- around 23 percent of the population are living below the poverty line.

Muthanna was ranked as the poorest Iraqi province with a poverty rate of 49 percent, followed by Babel with 41 percent and Salah al-Din, 40 percent.

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