Unemployment in Azerbaijan: Beyond the Economic Consequences

Unemployment following the collapse of the command economies in the Caucasus has had consequences far beyond the traditional questions of income. Unemployment affects people’s psychological condition and, on a more basic level, the very fabric of society.

Rufat Efendiyev conducted a quantitative survey among 492 individuals (proportionally selected in each district) who were registered as unemployed in Baku. In his research, Efendiyev found a steep increase in the number of physical and mental illnesses of the unemployed population. Additionally, 67% of respondents described their psychological condition as stressful because of financial difficulties.

In a particularly worrying development, Efendiyev also highlighted the age discrepancies in the unemployed population. Among those officially registered as unemployed in Baku those between 24-29 years predominate (24.4%) compared to other age groups. Efendiyev also found that 26.6% of respondents mentioned the absence of connections and friends as a barrier to getting a job.

Young, unemployed and disgruntled males, as has been shown in other contexts, is one of the most important groups to properly integrate into the workforce; this group is capable of creating large and possible traumatic social upheaval if their expectations with regards to the future are not met. The research points to the importance of youth employment programs and efforts to combat non-economic manifestations of unemployment.

Efendiyev’s book in Azeri, English and Russian is available here or from the CRRC Web site.


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