BAGHDAD, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Rising unemployment rates among men under the age of 30 in Iraq may pose a threat to national security, the United Nations said in a report.
"Iraq's growing jobless population is a socio-economic challenge for a country in transition," the United Nations said in a report, "Iraq Labor Force Analysis." "This unemployed or disenchanted pool of young men and women is critical to Iraq's future socio-economic health."
Overall unemployment rates in Iraq are at 18 percent, with another 10 percent employed only in part-time work. For men between the ages of 15 and 29, that rate soars to 28 percent, the report said.
In the first labor analysis since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, the report noted the private sector in Iraq was "ill equipped" to handle the estimated 450,000 Iraqis looking for work in 2009.
A lack of legitimate labor sources may turn the underemployed or unemployed to militant groups as a source of work while at the same time contributing to a generally slow pace of economic growth needed to create more jobs, the report said.