The Uzbek government says it will create 950,000 jobs in 2010 -- on top of the 940,500 officials claim to have created in 2009.
"In line with a program on providing the population with jobs and creating new jobs for 2010, a total of 950,100 jobs will be created in 2010. A total of 476,600 jobs will be created thanks to the launch of small factories, as well as by developing small businesses and private entrepreneurship," the Xalq Sozi newspaper quoted an official from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security as saying on January 20.
"The fact that 940,500 news jobs were created in the past year can be a proof of that," the official added.
Estimates by some non-governmental organizations suggest unemployment may be running as high 65-70 percent in some regions. Some NGO activists question whether the Uzbek government has the financial resources to spur the creation of nearly 1 million jobs this year.