By Atom Markarian
As many as 213,000 people, many of them officially registered as unemployed, may have jobs that are not listed in the document registry of Armenia’s tax authorities, according to a recent economic study.
The research conducted by a group of scholars from the National Institute of Economics (NIE) in Yerevan concluded that the so-called hidden employment encompasses over 15 percent of Armenia’s estimated workforce. Its findings reflect the huge size of the informal sector of the Armenian economy.
The head of the research group, NIE economics professor Yuri Suvarian, told RFE/RL that the study challenges official employment data based on the number of jobless people registered with the ministry of social security.
The official unemployment rate of almost ten percent is widely seen as inaccurate. Most independent experts says the real figure is at least three times higher.
“Many enterprises have been standing idle but have not formally laid off their personnel,” Suvarian said.