Unemployment at lowest since 2011
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkey’s June unemployment rate fell 1.2 points year-over-year to eight percent, registering the lowest unemployment rate since June 2001, according to figures released yesterday by Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TÜİK). The number of unemployed, similarly, dropped by 311,000 people.
“With the contribution of exports to the growth of the Turkish economy and with new investments spurred by the new incentive scheme, we believe that the unemployment rate will fall even more in the future,” Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said in a written statement yesterday.
“Employment-focused growth has lowered unemployment. Growth is the solution to unemployment and the locomotive of growth is exports,” the statement continued.
June urban unemployment came in at 10 percent, a 1.6 point drop from June 2011. Rural unemployment also fell 0.6 points to 4.3 percent.
According to TÜİK’s figures, the number of unemployed in June fell from 2.5 million to 2.2 million year-over-year. Total employment reached 25.5 million from 24.9 million during the same period. The Turkish economy added 676,000 jobs in June 2012. Those employed in the agriculture sector were down 45,000, but those employed in the non-agriculture sector were up 721,000.
On a sector-by-sector basis, 25.6 percent of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, 18.6 percent is employed in the industrial sector, 7.5 percent in the construction sector and 48.2 percent in the services sector. The industrial sector witnessed a zero percent change in employment from June 2011, whereas the services sector saw a one point increase in employment, and employment in the agriculture and industrial sector saw 0.9 point and 0.3 point drop, respectively.
EFG Securities Chief Economist Haluk Bürümcekçi said the record low unemployment figures were more than just “seasonal.”
Meanwhile, BGC Partners Chief Economist Özgür Altuğ noted that the unemployment rate had fallen in June mainly due to the impact of tourism, adding that there had been an improvement in the labor market despite the overall economic slowdown.
“The details of the employment data confirm the state of economic activity. Employment in industry and agriculture remained almost unchanged, but with the start of the tourism and construction season, employment in those sectors increased significantly,” wrote Altuğ in a note to investors. He also added that this was the lowest unemployment rate since the initiation of the news employment indices in 2005.