Unemployment continues to stand at double digits in Turkey
ANKARAThe unemployment rate in Turkey rose to 10.5 percent in October 2015 from 10.3 percent in September 2015, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Agency (TÜİK).
The latest unemployment rate was the highest since March 2015, when it hit 10.6 percent.
According to TÜİK data revealed on Jan. 15, the number of unemployed persons aged 15 years old and over was at 3.1 million persons with an increase of 104,000 persons in the period of October 2015 compared to the same period of the previous year.
In the same period, non-agricultural unemployment rate rose to 12.6 percent by 0.1 point.
While youth unemployment rate including 15-24 age group fell to 19.3 percent by 0.4 point, unemployment rate for 15-64 age group rose to 10.7 percent by 0.1 point.
The employment rate in October 2015 increased by 0.5 percentage points to 46.2 percent from the same period last year, as Turkey added 718,000 jobs.
Those who were employed in this period included 20.4 percent of employed people in agriculture, 20 percent employed in industry, 7.6 percent employed in construction and 52 percent employed in services, according to TÜİK data.
“Non-farm employment growth in the services sector continues [drive employment], but the contribution of the industry is significantly limited,” economist Haluk Bürümçekci told Anadolu Agency.
The negative effects of the minimum wage hike may cause employers to hire less in 2016, he noted, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
The minimum wage was raised to 1,300 Turkish Liras in 2016 from about 1,000 liras.
The government aims to reduce the unemployment rate by 0.6 points by 2018, according to its latest medium-term economic Program.
“The unemployment rate [predicted to] reach 10.2 percent in 2015 will drop to 9.6 percent at the end of program term in 2018,” Deputy PM Mehmet Şimşek said on Jan. 11.
“We expect the unemployment rate to fall in the coming period. With the help of policies that will be implemented to increase employment and labor force participation rate, we expect the labor force participation rate and employment to rise by 1.1 points and 1.3 points respectively,” he added.