Unemployment falls with new math, not jobs

Unemployment falls with new math, not jobs

Hacer Boyacıoğlu - ANKARA
Unemployment falls with new math, not jobs

Daily News Photo

The number of unemployed in Turkey, according to the state’s employment agency İşkur, dramatically dropped by 1.1 million in one day, not thanks to a large spree of job offerings but rather due to a change in calculations. 

The number of the unemployed, which stood at a little higher that 3.2 million in August, fell slightly to under 2.1 million in September, İşkur figures showed. 

İşkur officials told Hürriyet that a comparative study with the Social Security Institution (SGK) caused the sharp drop. 

İşkur named the jobseekers who apply as “registered unemployed” and is not responsible for counting those who do not submit an application. 

Until today, the information about registered unemployed people who found jobs came to the İşkur system too late, making the number higher than the real figure, officials said. 

“We have to integrate data from the SGK. This is a crosscheck,” they said. 

There were 2.97 million out of work in July according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜIK) as the İşkur figure stood at 3 million. 

The gap between the figures by İşkur and TÜIK, which calculates the official unemployment rate via surveys, is set to grow dramatically with the new calculation. 

Only months before a parliamentary election, this has been the second key change in economy calculations in less than a week. 

The Turkish government revised its national income per capita from U.S. dollar terms into income based on purchasing power parity amid a large loss in the Turkish Lira’s value against the dollar in its new Medium-Term Economic Program, which was published in the Official Gazette on Oct. 11. 

With the change, the government’s national income per capita target rose to $19,506 from $10,936 upon the dollar basis formula. 

If this change had not been made, the country’s national income per capita would have decreased below $9,000 over this year, with a loss of around 25 percent in the lira’s value to the dollar, said renowned economist Uğur Gürses in his column for daily Hürriyet on Oct. 12.