Turkey’s unemployment continues decline in April

Turkey’s unemployment continues decline in April
By bne IntelliNews July 15, 2016

Turkey's job market continued to improve in April with the unemployment rate falling for the third straight month amid a recovery in demand as the expanding economy creates new jobs. The jobless rate edged down to 9.3% in April from 10.3% in March, statistics office TUIK said on July 15. A year ago the unemployment rate stood at 9.6%.

The reading in April sees unemployment falling below the 10% level for the first time since July 2015. One of the reasons for the stubbornly high unemployment is the entrance of Syrian refugees to Turkey’s labour market. Turkey hosts nearly 3mn refugees from its war-torn southern neighbour.

The number of unemployed stood at 2.82mn people as of the end of April. The labour participation rate improved to 52% from 51.3% in March and up from 51.1% in April 2015. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained flat at 9.7% in April compared to the previous month, but it fell from 10% a year ago.

The economy created a total of 645,000 jobs in April, most of these coming from the agriculture sector that added 259,000. In April, industry created only 86,000 jobs, while construction and services sectors added 162,000 and 138,000 respectively.

The increasing number of Syrian refugees continues to pose risks for the job market. Only 6,686 of the Syrian refugees have applied for work permits and 5,000 of those applied were granted permission in the first half of the year, according to data of the ministry of labour. The figure suggests that Syrians are not actively seeking jobs and prefer to rely on government aid or work in the grey economy. However, whether Syrians enter the job market or not, the latest data of TUIK still provides a strong outlook for the job market.

The April figures, on the other hand, probably did not fully reflect the problems in Turkey’s struggling tourism sector. In April, foreign tourist visits were down 28% y/y, but in May the decline in tourist arrivals was a staggering 35%. Hotels and tourism companies could have reduced their headcount after May and these figures will be reflected in the forthcoming job data.

TURKEY'S JOB MARKET
    Population 15 years and over Labour Force Employed Unemployed Not in labour force Labour force participa-  tion rate                     (%) Unemployment rate                (%) Non-agricultural unemploy-ment rate                          (%)
2015 January   57 475  28 713  25 454  3 259  28 761 50.0 11.3 13.4
  February  57 545  28 803  25 576  3 226  28 742 50.1 11.2 13.2
   March   57 609  29 022  25 953  3 069  28 587 50.4 10.6 12.6
  April  57 679  29 459  26 638  2 821  28 220 51.1 9.6 11.6
  May  57 747  29 861  27 072  2 789  27 886 51.7 9.3 11.4
  June   57 818  30 141  27 261  2 880  27 677 52.1 9.6 11.7
  July   57 891  30 311  27 342  2 970  27 580 52.4 9.8 12.0
  August   57 973  30 208  27 150  3 058  27 764 52.1 10.1 12.4
  September  58 054  30 259  27 156  3 103  27 795 52.1 10.3 12.4
  October  58 134  30 003  26 856  3 147  28 131 51.6 10.5 12.6
  November   58 215  29 801  26 676  3 125  28 414 51.2 10.5 12.4
  December  58 294  29 652  26 448  3 204  28 642 50.9 10.8 12.7
  Annual   57 854  29 678  26 621  3 057  28 176 51.3 10.3 12.4
2016 January   58 366  29 565  26 275  3 290  28 802 50.7 11.1 13.0
  February  58 433  29 680  26 456  3 224  28 753 50.8 10.9 12.7
  March   58 493  30 016  26 993  3 023  28 478 51.3 10.1 11.9
  April   58 558  30 462  27 638  2 824  28 097 52.0 9.3 11.0
Source: TUIK

 

 

 

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