Turkish unemployment hit 12.1% in November last year, rising from the previous month’s 11.8% and 10.5% in November 2015, data from national statistics office TUIK showed on February 15. The November 2016 figure was the highest unemployment rate recorded since March 2010 when the jobless rate was 12.8%, reflecting the impact of slower economic growth and the weak investment appetite.
Some 3.73mn people were registered as jobless in November last year, up from 3.13mn a year ago. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 11.8% from 11.7% a month ago, and from 10.3% in November 2015.
The non-farm unemployment rate was 14.3% in the month versus 12.4% in November 2015.
Agriculture lost more than 100,000 jobs compared with November 2015, while industry shed another 37,000. Construction added only 1,000 jobs but services created 527,000 in the period.
Robust economic performance has formed a pillar of the ruling AKP’s popular support and its consecutive landslide election victories over the years. But now the government is faced with flagging growth at a time when the country is heading towards a crucial referendum in mid-April on sweeping constitutional changes that would eventually pave the way for the transition to a more powerful presidential system.
Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on private companies to hire more people as he launched a campaign for what he described as “employment mobilisation”.
“Since we are now faced with an extraordinary situation again, it is time to roll up our sleeves,” Erdogan said in a speech on February 7, delivered at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey’s Council of the Economy.
The unemployment data did not on February 15 have a significant impact on the currency. The lira was trading at 3.6392 per dollar as of around 11:30 Istanbul time, down from 3.6541 at 10:30. The main stock exchange index, BIST-100, was up 0.15%.
|Turkey's Labour Market|
|Labour force participation rate (%)||50.9||50.8||51.3||52.5||52.4||52.7||52.6||52.8||52.4||52.1|
|Unemployment Rate (%)||10.8||10.9||10.1||9.4||10.2||10.7||11.3||11.3||11.8||12.1|
|Non-Farm Unemployment Rate (%)||12.7||12.7||11.9||11.3||12.2||13.0||13.7||13.7||14.1||14.3|
|Seasonally-adjusted Unemployment Rate (%)||10.3||10.1||9.9||10.4||11.0||11.2||11.4||11.3||11.7||11.8|
|Seasonally-adjusted Non-Farm Unemployment Rate (%)||12.3||12.0||11.8||12.3||13.0||13.3||13.5||13.5||13.9||14.1|
|Source: statistics institute|