Turkey Risks a Jobless Recovery After Unemployment Turns Higher

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s jobless rate rose for the first time in four months, in a sign of divergence with the broader economy that ended the year on an upswing.

Unemployment climbed to 13.7% in December from 13.3% the previous month, data published by the statistics office showed on Tuesday. Gross domestic product surged an annual 6% in the fourth quarter.

The resumption of job losses underscores the economic challenges still facing Turkey even after it moved past its first recession in a decade following a currency rout. Pointing to a 59,000 decline in industrial jobs, Ozlem Derici Sengul, founder of Spinn Consulting in Istanbul, said another month of weak data may mean the hoped-for acceleration in employment gains isn’t happening.

Turkey Risks a Jobless Recovery After Unemployment Turns Higher

About 4.39 million people are officially jobless in Turkey. The figure excludes 2.5 million people who aren’t actively seeking a job but are “available to start” one if they find it, the data show. Adjusted for seasonal factors, unemployment fell by 0.1 percentage point in December to 13.1%.

Below are other highlights from the jobs data, which display average figures for the three months through January:

  • Non-farm jobless rate reached 15.8%, up 0.2 percentage point from the same period a year earlier
  • Youth unemployment rate 25%, up 0.5 percentage point during the same period
  • Labor force participation rate 51.8%, down 0.6 percentage point
  • Ratio of unregistered employment 32.3%, down from 33.4%

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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