Turkish joblessness at double digits in February despite strong employment
DAILY NEWS PhotoTurkish unemployment remained in double-digits in February for the third consecutive month, despite a strong rise in employment in the construction and industry sectors, official data has shown.
More than 2.8 million people who were seeking jobs were out of work in the February period, constituting 10.2 percent of the labor force, according to the data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Despite falling by 0.3 percent compared to last year’s same period, the joblessness in the country remained on the upward trend since returning to double-digits in December after nine months.
The February joblessness rate has been the first data that is calculated according to new regulations, which have been adopted by the TÜİK to “ensure full compliance with the European Union.”
“According to these changes, the reference week of the survey and duration of unemployment in unemployment criteria have been changed, as well as the new administrative division and new population projections were based on,” the statistics agency said in the statement.
Basic labor market indicators for the population of the 15-64 age group are given in order to provide comparability with OECD and other international organizations, it added.
As a result of the method reform, the institution revised previous labor data, which caused January’s unemployment to rise to 10.3 percent from 10.1 percent of previously announced data.
The number of employed people, 15 years and older, was realized as nearly 25 percent in the February 2014 period and the employment rate was 44.1 percent.
Of those employed in February, 20.2 percent worked in agriculture, 21.4 percent in industry, 7 percent in construction and 51.3 percent in the services sector.
Akbank Economic Research said the employment market continued its recovery, led by the construction and industry sectors, in a statement released after the figures’ announcement.
“Industry and construction intermediate goods production’s recording strong rises of 5 and 10 percent, respectively, and positive course of April PMI employment indexed, give signals that the recovery in employment will continue,” the note said.
“It can be expected for these two sectors to maintain their strong performance in March as well,” the note also said.
Youth joblessness, unemployment among those aged between 15 and 24, became 17 percent during the period. According to the Turkish government´s medium-term program the rate of unemployment is expected to fall to 9.4 percent in 2014.