Employment of Highly Educated Labor Force in Iran: Challenges and Prospects Through the Sixth Development Plan and Beyond

  • Gholamali Farjadi
  • Alireza Amini
  • Pooya Alaedini


This chapter probes labor market developments for those with tertiary-level education in Iran as well as challenges and prospects for their increased employment through the country’s Sixth Economic, Social, and Cultural Development Plan. Given the large supply of labor with college/university education in the next few years, the manufacturing sector should not face any problem in finding suitable candidates for its recruitment. Yet, this sector will be unlikely to accommodate the larger part of the highly educated labor supply. Furthermore, a set of strong initiatives are needed to ensure that the Plan’s targets are met or surpassed. Two-digit ISIC data for the period 1996–2013 are thus used to identify skill-intensive manufacturing activities whose further development may be targeted to generate employment for the highly educated labor force. Twelve manufacturing subsectors are highlighted for this purpose. Other suggestions include providing support for the expansion of manufacturing research and development, increasing the scale of manufacturing activities, and growing manufacturing exports. Finally, it is suggested that, to increase the capacity of Iran’s manufacturing sector aimed at absorbing a significantly greater part of the highly educated labor force, major shifts of industrial and trade policies are needed to move the economy from resource-based production toward export-oriented and knowledge-based activities that rely on continual capability and technological upgrading. This also requires a well-functioning labor market as well as an educational system in tune with its requirements.


Tertiary education Labor force Unemployment Skill-intensive Manufacturing Iran 



The authors wish to acknowledge assistance received from Alireza Farhadikia and Arash Valinia in the preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gholamali Farjadi
    • 1
  • Alireza Amini
    • 2
  • Pooya Alaedini
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Management and Planning StudiesTehranIran
  2. 2.Islamic Azad University—Tehran Central BranchTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Social PlanningUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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