Current Employment of Record Iraq: A Comprehensive Guide


Employment in Iraq is controlled by the Iraqi Labour Laws. This law dictates that Iraqi citizens are given priority over any foreigners. Only if there are no qualified Iraqis available for the job then an organization employ foreign citizens. 

Though there is no law saying that an employer needs to hire a specific number of Iraqi citizens. The regulations regarding employment are controlled by the Social security Law. People who go to Iraq for job-related purposes require a special license to stay and work there.

The labour laws differ depending on the geographical location of the organization. For example, the Iraqi Labour Law(Law 37/2015) is applicable almost throughout the country except for the 

Kurdistan Region(includes Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah provinces). 

In that region, the Kurdish Labour Law(Law 71/1987) is in effect. Therefore, there are two labour laws currently effective in Iraq. The law dealing with termination in Iraq is quite complicated and is expected to go through substantial changes.

Present Statistics of Employment in Iraq

Employment of Record Iraq: The employment growth in Iraq recently took a hit. The employment rate dropped 28.20 per cent in the year 2018. Previously in the year 2016, the rate was 40.20 per cent. The highest employment rate from the year 2003 to 2018 was 49.72 per cent. And the lowest was 28.20 per cent. The current unemployment rate in the country is 7.90 per cent.

Economy of Iraq

The Iraqi economy is mainly dependent on its oil sector. This sector is responsible for 99.7 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. Iraq holds the 14th position in the middle eastern economy list. 

The economy of Iraq has suffered through years of civil war and terrorism. But, it is slowly and surely recovering. Aside from the petroleum sector, agriculture is also an important part of the Iraqi Economy. The country is currently focusing its attention on creating new job opportunities and improving its infrastructure. For this purpose, the World Bank has invested billions of dollars.

Fields of Employment in Iraq

A brief description of the top three employment sectors in Iraq are given below:

  1. Oil/Petroleum

12% of the world’s proven oil reserves are found in Iraq. As already mentioned, Iraq’s oil industry is the backbone of its economy. In 2009, the country was declared the 5th largest oil producer in the whole world. 

So profitable is the industry that it accounts for nearly 70% of the country’s GDP. Oil production and sale is responsible for 95% of the Iraqi Government’s revenue. The energy sector of the country is predominantly dependent on the oil industry. Iraq founded the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC). 

It is OPEC’s second-largest oil-producing country. The size of the country’s oil reserve is approximately 115 billion barrels. In August 2019 the country reached recorded oil production with 4.88 million barrels per day (BPD) according to S&P Global Platts. Iraq’s richest oil-producing regions are the capital Baghdad, Basra, Ramadi, and Baaj.

  1. Agriculture

After the petroleum industry, agricultural production is a contributor to Iraq’s economic growth. The sector makes up 7% of the country’s GDP. 15% of the country’s total land which is 8 million hectares are cultivable. 

But, even then only 4-5 million hectares are being used for agricultural production. Almost 22% of the Iraqi population are employed in this sector. The country’s north and north-east regions are mainly used to grow crops. 

The two major crops grown in Iraq are Wheat and barley. Other crops that the country produces include rice, different vegetables, dates, sugar cane, and citrus fruits. A large amount of dates production comes from Iraq.   

  1. Service Sector

A major portion of Iraq’s labour force is employed in this sector. The service sector includes tourism, finance, telecommunications, government services, transportation, corporate services,IT Services and retail. 

This sector provides 40.6% of Iraq’s GDP. The service sector is financed by the oil industry. Most of the government services like health and education are also financed by it.. Iraqi citizens get free health care and education up to university level.

So, these are the three pillars of Iraq’s economy. 

Current Employment of Record Iraq:Benefits that an Employee Gets in Iraq

The labour law in Iraq dictates certain benefits that every Iraqi citizen is entitled to and these benefits include:

  1. Medical Leave

Every employee in Iraq is entitled to 30 days paid sick leave every year. After the 30 periods is over an additional 180 days sick leave is provided by the insurance provider of the employee. The employee seeking leave will have to show medical documents provided by a doctor as evidence.

  1. Maternity Leave

All the female employees are entitled to a maximum of 72 days paid maternity leave.

  1. Annual Leave

Workers get 20 days of paid leave. In case of danger related to work then it is 30 days paid leave. After every 5 years, period employees get an extra 2 days annual leave.

  1. Pension

Pension is managed by the System of Welfare and Benefits in Iraq. 5% of the employee’s salary is directly deducted. 12% of the worker’s salary is paid by the employer and is used to cover health insurance, pension, and work-related injuries. For the oil and gas industry, 25% of the worker’s salary is paid by the employer for these purposes.

Employment Conditions For Foreigners:Current Employment of Record Iraq

Foreigners require a special permit for working in Iraq. According to the country’s labour law, there is a clear distinction between foreigners and Arabs. Arab workers are seen as Iraqi citizens and therefore do not need any kind of permit to work in Iraq. 

Iraqi employees are required to inform the labour office 10 days before the commencement of work. Arab employees need to inform the office within 30 days. Foreign employees, on the other hand, can not start work until they receive the permit. Only if a company has branches in other countries then those employees from the foreign branches do not have to follow this rule.

Iraq is still under the effects of war like many middle eastern countries but it is trying its best to recover. The large reserve of oil has always supported the Iraqi economy. And it continues to do so.

Posted by: Urban Clap Dubai Team in reference of Current Employment of Record Iraq

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