Country Listing

Azerbaijan Table of Contents


The Work Force

According to Azerbaijani statistics, the work force numbered 2.7 million individuals in 1992. Agriculture was the largest area of employment (34 percent), followed by industry (16 percent) and education and culture (12 percent). In the industrial sector, the oil, chemical, and textile industries were major employers (see table 11, Appendix). In spite of the standard communist proclamation that employment was a right and employment was virtually full, large-scale, chronic unemployment had already emerged in the late 1980s, especially among youth and the growing ranks of refugees and displaced people (see table 12, Appendix). In 1992 unemployment was still officially characterized as a minor problem, affecting some 200,000 people, but in fact the Azerbaijani government vastly underreported this statistic. Underreporting was facilitated by the practice of keeping workers listed as employees in idled industries. Funds set aside by the government to deal with unemployment proved woefully inadequate. One Western economic agency estimated the 1992 gross national product ( GNP--see Glossary) as US$18.6 billion and the average per capita GNP as US$2,480, placing Azerbaijan sixth and eighth in those respective categories among the former Soviet republics.

Data as of March 1994