Double-digit jobless rate returns after 9 months

Double-digit jobless rate returns after 9 months

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Double-digit jobless rate returns after 9 months

A worker checks machines at a tire manufacturer’s plant in the western province of İzmit. Some 19.5 percent of the work force is employed in industries while some 47.2 percent are employed in the service sector, says TUİK. January’s participation rate was at 48.2 percent.

Turkey’s unemployment rate again reached double-digits in the January period, after nine months of single-digit unemployment. The jobless rate was at 10.2 percent for the period, which includes December 2011, January and February, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) yesterday. The non-farm unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent to 12.4 percent in the same period.

The number of unemployed in the January period decreased 380,000 compared to the same period last year, at a total of 2.6 million. The unemployment rate was down 1.7 points to 10.2 percent compared with the same period. However, the rate stood at 9.8 in December, 9.1 in November and October, and 8.8 percent in September of last year. The last time the unemployment rate reached double digits was March 2011, when it was 10.8 percent.

“The unemployment rate was 12 percent, with a decrease of 1.8 percent in urban areas, and 6.5 percent, with a 1.6 percent decrease in rural areas,” TÜİK said. Compared with 2011, the number of employed increased 1.01 million, reaching nearly 23.5 million in the January 2012 period. “The number of people employed in the agricultural sector increased by 15,000, and in non-agricultural employment the number increased by 999,000.”

Of those who were employed in the January period 71.5 percent were male, 57 percent had education levels lower than high school, 2.6 percent had an additional job, and 90.6 percent of regular employees worked in permanent jobs, TÜİK said.

The labor force participation rate was 48.2 percent, representing a 0.1 percent increase compared to the same period in 2011. The working-age population had increased by about 1.2 million, reached 54.2 million. Among those who were employed previously, 47.2 percent were employed in the service sector, 19.5 percent in industries, 21.7 percent in construction, and 7.9 percent were employed in the agricultural sector, according to TÜİK.

Seasonally adjusted data
On a seasonally adjusted basis, both unemployment rate and non-farm unemployment rate declined by 0.3 points 8.9 percent and 11.7 percent respectively.

“The decline in the unemployment rate is mainly on the back of robust pace in non-farm job creation,” Turk Economy Bank (TEB) analysts said in a note to investıors yesterday.

“Looking forward, construction sector’s performance will continue to determine the pace of unemployment rate. The sector is hopeful that the “earthquake” related reconstruction efforts that are expected to be enacted by the Parliament very soon will support the activity in the sector,” the note said.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment is steadily improving, while it fell below 9 percent for the first time since the new data set was started in 2005, according to the Reuters. “Data may encourage the Central Bank to tighten more to reign in inflationary effects,” Reuters quoted BCG Partners chief economist Özgür Altuğ as saying.