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LABOR >Turkey’s unemployment rises to 11.8 pct, highest in six years

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Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to 11.8 percent in October 2016 marking the highest such rate since March 2010, when it hit 12.8 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on Jan. 16. 
       
The rate of unemployment saw a 1.3 percentage point increase in October 2016 compared to the same month in 2015, according to TÜİK. These figures show the slowdown in the Turkish economy had continued.
 
The number of unemployed persons aged 15 and above rose to over 3.6 million in October 2016, 500,000 more than the previous year, pushing the unemployment rate to 11.8 percent.

Unemployment rate among the youth, which comprises of people aged between 15 and 24, was 21.2 percent, with a 1.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

On a monthly basis, unemployment rate was 0.5 percentage points higher compared to the previous month, which was 11.3 percent in September, 2016.        

QNB Finansbank Chief Economist Gökçe Çelik has said the October unemployment data also represented the sharpest rise on annual basis since December, 2014, noting that the data pictured serious indications regarding the economic slowdown. 

“While some 94,000 people participated in the employment in October, the number of employed people decreased by 23,000. This has showed that the economic activity was so slow that it could not maintain the existing employment trend. We have foreseen that the economic activity only partially recovered in the last quarter following shrinkage in the third quarter. In this vein, we have kept our 2016 growth forecast at 1.8 percent,” said Çelik, as quoted by Reuters. 

Some analysts expect to see a hike in the growth by the second half of 2017 with the likely realization of private sector investments. 

Although unemployment rose, the Turkish economy added 500,000 jobs in October compared to the previous year. 

Turkey’s labor force participation rose 0.8 percentage points in the month year-on-year to 52.4 percent, with the number of people in the labor force totaling 30.91 million. This was a rise of 911,000 in 2016 compared with the same period of the previous year.        

The number of women participating in the workforce rose by 1.3 percentage points to 33.1 percent from the previous year. The same rate for men was 0.2 percentage points higher in the same period, suggesting the overall growth of the labor force participation rate was driven by women.

January/16/2017

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