Turkey’s unemployment rate rises to 9.6% in June

By bne IntelliNews September 15, 2015

Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6% in June, the first deterioration on a m/m basis since the beginning of this year although the summer season has started in the month, the statistics institute TUIK announced on September 15.

Turkey’s unemployment rate is chronically higher than 9% level since May 2015, however, it has showed an improvement trend between January 2015, when the unemployment rate hit to 11.3% - the highest figure recorded since April 2010, and May 2015 when the unemployment rate stood at 9.3%. Summer season in Turkey generally provides favourable employment conditions thanks to mass seasonal employment in tourism, construction and agriculture sectors, however, it is obvious that problems in Turkish tourism industry also damaged the industry’s support to the employment. Under normal conditions, the unemployment rate was expected to fall in the first month of summer season.

Turkey’s unemployment data is also chronically unhealthy due to low labour force participation rates. The participation rate was still relatively low at 52.1% in June, although it was higher compared to 51.7% in May depending on the seasonal workers’ participation in job seeking. The participation rate in June 2015 was higher than 51.3% in June 2014, indicating another reason to increase in the unemployment rate in June 2015.

Seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures also deteriorated in June 2015. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.4% in June, the highest figure recorded since November 2014, while seasonally-adjusted non-farm jobless rate increased to 12.6% in the month, again the highest figure recorded since November 2014. Unadjusted non-farm unemployment also deteriorated to 11.7% in June, comparing unfavorably with 11.4% in May and 11.1% in June 2014.

TUIK calculates the number of unemployed at 2.88mn in June, up from 2.79mn people in May and 2.65mn in June 2014. TUIK also said that 51% of the employed worked in the services sector as of June, 22% in the agriculture, 19.7% in the industry and 7.3% in the construction sectors. The economy created 613,000 jobs over the past year.

The Turkish government forecasts the unemployment rate to be 9.5% in 2015 as it expects GDP growth to pick up from 2.9% in 2014 to 4% in 2015. Real GDP growth will hover around 3% over the medium term, unemployment could continue rising, leading to social pressures, said S&P on July 29 in its 2015 Global Credit Outlook for Banks. The participants of the TUIK’s consumer confidence survey said last month that they expected unemployment to increase over the next 12 months, TUIK data showed on August 21.

Turkey's Labour Market                
  Sep Oct Nov Jan-15 Feb-15 Mar May Jun
Labour force participation rate (%) 51.1 51.0 50.5 50.0 50.1 50.4 51.7 52.1
Unemployed (mn) 3.06 3.04 3.10 3.26 3.23 3.07 2.79 2.88
Unemployment Rate (%) 10.5 10.4 10.7 11.3 11.2 10.6 9.3 9.6
Non-Farm Unemployment Rate (%) 12.7 12.5 12.7 13.4 13.2 12.6 11.4 11.7
Seasonally-adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) 10.6 10.6 10.6 10.2 10.2 10.1 10.2 10.4
Seasonally-adjusted Non-Farm Unemployment Rate (%) 12.7 12.6 12.7 12.3 12.2 12.1 12.3 12.6
Source: statistics institute    

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