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Unemployment in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 9
The Department of Statistics reports that in the fourth quarter of 2009 unemployment slightly increased to 16.3%, which means that 329,000 people are unemployed. The number of economically active people is around 2 million, and officially more than 84% of people are employed, but out of these 63% are self employed, mainly in the agricultural sector. They own cattle and a plot of land which should create some income and are therefore classified as employed.

The statistics released state that around 321,000 persons are employed in enterprises, around 62% of these in large enterprises and 19% and 18% respectively in medium-sized and small ones. Unfortunately small and medium-sized businesses are not much developed in Georgia, which creates problems in developing a middle class.

Chair of the United Trade Unions Irakli Petriashvili challenges the official figures, stating that the numbers of self-employed in the agricultural sector are very much exaggerated. In fact farmers might own land but they have no money to cultivate it with, buy fertiliser or seeds, use machinery and so on. Although theoretically they can make some money in practice they do not. It should also be said that more than 25% of the so-called employed have a monthly income less than the subsistence level.