The number of retirees has risen in Syria from around 2,000 workers a year prior to the war to about 7,000, according to a report issued by pro-regime website Syria Steps.
According to the report, Director of Social Insurance in Damascus Ghassan Daiyoub said the number of retirees has doubled over the past four years, noting that workers in the public and private sectors tend to retire before the mandatory age, adding that some of them are applying for partial retirement even prior to obtaining a pension.
Official statistics provided by Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi confirm the government had dismissed 7,000 employees from the state apparatus out of 2.5 million employees.
Halqi confirmed that the dismissal was because employees had either left Syria and sought refuge in neighboring countries (but have continued collecting their salaries through bank cards), or because a number of them had taken up arms against the regime. The PM did not specify the number of people who had left to neighboring countries or the number of those who now fighting alongside opposition forces.
Government employees are known to resign to escape military service or to secure their pension, as the Assad regime recently issued a decision to dismiss employees and deprive them of their salaries if attempting to escape military service.
Government data also indicates a decline of the public sector's share in the labor market over the past decade, due to the low wages of employees compared to the high costs of living.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, about 1.36 million workers in Syria work in the public sector – out of about 5.54 million employees distributed between the public, private and joint sectors.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer