YEREVAN — Amid continuing economic growth, unemployment in Armenia fell to around 11 percent in 2023, the lowest rate registered in many years, according to official statistics.
It was down from 13 percent reported by the Armenian government in 2022 and 18.2 percent in 2020.
“I don’t remember Armenia ever having such a low unemployment rate,” Finance Minister Vahe Hovannisyan said recently.
Armenia has for decades suffered from high unemployment that has caused hundreds of thousands of its citizens to emigrate to Russia, the United States and other nations. The Armenian economy has grown at relatively robust rates during most of the past decade, translating into new jobs and higher incomes.
Some economists believe that the real unemployment rate is higher than what is shown by government data. But they do not deny that it has fallen in the past decade.
Government officials admit, for their part, that a considerable percentage of the country’s workforce remains jobless for various reasons.
“We have a large army of young people who do not work or study and are not integrated into the labor market,” Ruben Sargsyan, a deputy minister of labor and social affairs, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service in late December.
“We have a large population, including women in the age range of 30-40, who do not integrate into the labor market or have difficulties with integration. We have a large number of beneficiaries who receive benefits while being able to work but not working for whatever reason,” Sargsyan said, adding that the government needs to do a better job of helping such people find work.