- Record 57% of Iranians in 2018 saw economic conditions getting worse
- Just 7% said it was a good time to find a job
- "Suffering" hit 34% in 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Iranians' confidence in their local economy collapsed along with their currency following President Donald Trump's decision a year ago in May to leave the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose economic sanctions. As the rial plunged to new lows, a record-high 57% of Iranians in late July and August said economic conditions in their communities are getting worse.
Since then, Iran's economic situation has only deteriorated, leading the World Bank last week to downgrade its outlook for the country's economy for the third consecutive time.
Many Iranians likely expected their job prospects to improve after the nuclear deal, but with the U.S. pulling out, those prospects are increasingly grim. Even before sanctions began to bite the job market, and companies began massive layoffs, Iranians were bracing for the worst: A record-low 7% said it was a good time to find a job.
In terms of actual employment, one in six Iranians (16%) in 2018 said they were working full time for an employer. Although this percentage is on the higher end for what Gallup has tracked since 2012, the 16% working in "good jobs" is still one of the lower figures in the region. It is similar to numbers in Iraq, Morocco and the Palestinian Territories, and higher only than the 6% in war-torn Yemen. Among the youngest Iranians, those between the ages of 15 and 29, 17% were working full time for an employer.
Suffering Hits New Record
In this climate, more Iranians were rating their current lives worse and were holding out less hope for their future. A record-low 12% of Iranians rated their lives positively enough to be considered "thriving," and a record-high 34% rated their lives poorly enough to be considered "suffering." Iranians' expectation for where they see their lives in five years notably dropped a full point between 2017 and 2018 -- with the average rating of 4.9 (with 10 being the best possible life) representing a new record low.
While the data do not confirm Trump's statement last week that Iran is failing as a nation after the sanctions, they do paint a picture of a nation where the economy, and people's lives, are getting worse. In fact, Iran's president recently likened his country's distress under the sanctions to the hardships they experienced during the Iran-Iraq War. At the same time, he also said Iran did not plan to back down -- and so everyday Iranians who are already suffering could rate their lives and economy even more negatively. Gallup's next surveys in Iran in 2019 will show if they do.
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