Turkey’s joblessness soars above gov’t target in 2013

Turkey’s joblessness soars above gov’t target in 2013

Turkey’s joblessness soars above gov’t target in 2013

The number of unemployed people in Turkey increased by 229,000 in 2013, reaching 2.75 million, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK). DAILY NEWS photo

The unemployment rate in Turkey rose by 0.5 points to 9.7 percent in 2013, as the expansion of labor force outstripped the rise in employment, official data has shown.

According to household labor figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), the unemployment ratio in non-agricultural sectors is now 12 percent, rising 0.5 points in line with the increase in overall unemployment.

The number of Turks out of work has reached 2.75 million people, with 229,000 more people joining the ranks of the unemployed throughout 2013.

The number of employed people also surged by 703,000 to become 25.5 million, while 932,000 more people joined the labor force in 2013.

Slightly above target

The announcement of unemployment data revealed that the government had missed another year-end target of its medium term plan. The government was aiming to hit a target of 9.5 percent for the 2013-end.

According to its medium term plan, Turkey’s 2014 unemployment objective is to decrease the rate to 9.4 percent. However, the gloomier growth forecasts indicate that this target could be missed as well, in line with the toughening conditions in the market.

HSBC senior investment strategist Ali Çakıroğlu said the main driver of the rising unemployment was the weak employment opportunities, predicting that this tendency in the labor market may continue in the first half of this year.

“After the labor force statistics announced today, we calculate that the December unemployment rate will be around the 10.3 to 10.4 percent mark. Along with that, we predict the average unemployment rate to rise to around 9.9 to the 10 percent level,” he said.

Share of agriculture employment drops

Finansbank economist Gökçe Çelik also said he expected to see a more negative employment market picture this year.

The jobless rate among those aged 15-24 also soared to 18.7 percent from 17.5 percent of last year. Over the course of the year, the number of people working in the agriculture sector plunged by 82,000 people, while 785,000 more people were employed in non-agricultural sectors.

Overall, 23.6 percent of the workforce was employed in agriculture, 19.4 percent was in industry, 7 percent was in construction and 50 percent was in services.

When compared to the previous year, the share of the agricultural sector in employment retreated by 1 percentage point, while the service sector’s share slumped by 0.6 and the industrial sector by 0.3 points.