Turkish unemployment hit 11.2 percent in February period

Turkish unemployment hit 11.2 percent in February period

Turkish unemployment hit 11.2 percent in February period

DHA Photo

Turkey’s unemployment rate hit 11.2 percent in the February period, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) on May 15.

The number of unemployed people aged 15 years old and over increased by 401,000 to 3.2 million in the February period, which included December 2014 and January and February 2015, from the same period a year previous. 

In the same period, the non-agricultural unemployment rate rose to 13.2 percent, while the youth unemployment rate including the 15-24 age group soared to 20 percent. The unemployment rate for the 15-64 age group rose by 1.1 percentage point to 11.4 percent, over the same period.

“The rise in unemployment is continuing,” İş Investment economist Muammer Kömürcüoğlu told Reuters. 
“We think the big picture will not change and that, for as long as there is not a strong pick-up in growth, the high unemployment rate will continue,” he added. 

Turkey’s unemployment rate is expected to rise by 0.5 points to 11.4 percent in 2015, from 9.9 percent in 2014, and rise further to 11.6 percent in 2016, according to the data in the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO). 

GDP growth tumbled to 2.9 percent in 2014, from 4.2 percent the previous year. 

Last April the World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for Turkey for this year from 3.5 percent to 3 percent, and warned that restoring confidence through reforms was crucial to boost investment and increase the economy’s medium-term potential.

“The unexpected inventory buildup and a series of poor leading indicators suggest the current economic weakness is likely to be extended into the first half of 2015,” the World Bank said in its regular economic report for Turkey.

Turkey’s economic growth will remain broadly unchanged at 3 percent in 2015 and 2016, significantly below the country’s long-term potential, said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report on May 14.