The Employment Situation in Rural Areas of Iran during 1956-2006 (Case Study: Rural Areas of Isfahan Province)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Geography and Rural Planning, University of Isfahan, Iran

3 PhD. Candidate, Geography and Rural Planning, University of Isfahan, Iran

4 PhD. Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Isfahan, Iran


Rural development has several dimensions including economic, social and cultural. Each of these dimensions has a considerable importance due to the impact and influence of the rural environment in planning. However, the villages have been faced with many problems over time. The most important of the problems is the employment and the challenges associated with that, especially in the recent decades (Qadiri Masom, 2010: 102).To achieve a suitable employment, it is necessary to create a favorable community. Because the most important condition for growth and community development is job creation (Çelik and Tatar, 2011: 1211). The employment in progress and development of human society has an important role from the distant past to now. But in the recent years the importance of employment can be seen clearly in all aspects of human life. The trend of employment evolutions review in different periods reveals its changes over time and determines the current situation of employment in different regions. It can provide the field of future planning for future employment development programs in different areas. According to the 2006 Population and Housing Census of Iran, the Isfahan Province is the most populated province in the country following two provinces of Tehran and Khorasan Razavi. About 760528 people of the population are now living in rural areas. Approximately 85.5 percent of them were in the age of economic activity and about 44 percent were among the active population, and 55.5 percent were also inactive. Study of employment trends in three sectors of economic activity (agriculture, industry, and services), as influenced by the natural and the human factors can clarify the past and current status and provides a good platform for future planning (Qadiri Masom, 2005: 154). According to the the contents, the basic question that the present study is sought to answer is how the process of employment transformation in the three sectors of economic activity are directioned in rural areas of Isfahan province during the years1956-2006?
Research methodology of this study was descriptive– analytical.The purpose of the study is to review the trend of employment evolutions in rural areas of the Iran during the past period (1956-2006) in Isfahan rural areas as case study. In order to achieve the purposes of the study, required data have been collected by relying on the Census documentation during the years 1956 to 2006. GIS and Excel applications have been used to draw maps and diagrams, respectively.
Results and discussion
Results showed that the trend of employment in villages of the Isfahan province in contrast to the unemployment ratehas an upward trend during the period of the study. This is influenced by various factors including economic, social, political and environmental issues. However, the trend of employment evolutions in various geographic areas of the province has not followed a similar trend. Rural areas, where have better features and the ability to attract more facilities, represent better employment situation and fewer changes. But it can certainly be said that the number of employees located in agricultural sector and animal husbandry has declined more significantly in villages of the province. The trends of employment in the villages of the province can be seen clearly towards service sector. The results also indicate that the population in activity age and the unemployment rate indicators in the rural areas have increased and that the indicators of the active population, the public rates of activity, the real rate activity and the employment rates have been declining. The employment rate in 2006 compared to 1956 in rural areas of Isfahan province shows a reduction of about 8.5%. From the results it can be argued that the majority of Isfahan rural employees had the tendency to move from the agricultural sector to other sectors, especially services, during the periods under study. In general, the number of employees has increased in the sectors of industry and services in the plain area with decrease in the agricultural sector. Reduction in the number of employees in the arid areas was in the agriculture and industry sector whilethe number has increased in the service sector. Like two other locations, the number of employees in the agricultural sector has declined and the number has not somewhat changed in the industry and services sector in mountainous temperate areas.
Despite the general trend of employment in rural areas of Isfahan Province from the agricultural sector to industry and services ones, there are differences among the triple areas of the province. Thus, in both the plain and the dry arid areas the majority of employees were in industry sector and in mountainous areas the majority was engaged in the activities of agricultural sector.  Therefore, it should be tried to provide all aspects for employment in the triple areas of the province. Then, there should be marketing for products of these rural areas. In three sectors of economic activity including agriculture, industry and services it can be advised to use new technologies. It is required to provide necessary conditions for education and communication of villagers. Conditions must be provided for the growth of small industries (handicrafts and agriculture small industries) in the rural areas and establishment of human resources employmentsectors. By this way, those parts of the technical and production needs for industrial activities can be prepared in the villages.


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