Iraqi Economy Update: 70% Unemployment Rate???

The macroeconomic condition of Iraq is impossible to cover thoroughly and objecively without reasonably accurate statistics, which exist for some government-controlled operations, and little else. Hence, data on the decentralized labor markets are nonexistent, except for nonscientific "expert" estimates, which I've already shown to be an inconsistent mish-mash.

One of the most recent estimates was made by unknown experts with unknown agendas at the college of economics at Baghdad University. On Aug. 1, Al-Jazeera reported:

A study by the college of economics at Baghdad University has found that the unemployment rate in Iraq is 70%.

The study says the problem of high unemployment is going from bad to worse, with the security situation deterioriating and the reconstruction process faltering.

No further detail is provided--like the authors' names, when this study was conducted, what methods were used (did they ask 10 men in Baghdad?), which geographical areas were included (probably excluding the Kurdish regions), and who funded the work. Are the sampling and nonsampling error 5% or 30%?

The article does note that scam artists are are rampant (absolutely credible), and the reporter is sticking to the story that most Iraqis believe that working for the US is treason.

The article spread like wildfire on alternative media outlets (Google 70% unemployment in Iraq), and I report it here only because I insist on finding out more. I have emailed the author of the Al-Jazeera article, Ahmed Janabi, asking him for either a copy of the report or its authors' contact information.I will not stop my inquiries until I get a copy of the report.

Note: Any reader who can connect me with the economists at Baghdad U. will be greatly admired and appreciated.


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on August 11, 2004 2:39 PM.

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