Unemployment rate in Turkey falls to 10.2 percent in May

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Unemployment rate in Turkey falls to 10.2 percent in May

Turkey's unemployment rate maintained a monthly downward trend as it fell to 10.2 pct in May compared to 10.5 pct the previous month, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced Tuesday.

The national statistics body, however, revealed that the rate was 0.8 percent higher on year-on-year basis.

The number of unemployed rose by 330,000 reaching 3.2 million people in May when compared to the same month last year.

On a monthly basis, Turkey's unemployment figure showed a steady decrease during five consecutive months of 2017.

The unemployment rate started the year with 13 percent in January, which dropped to 12.6 percent in February, 11.7 percent in March and 10.5 percent in April.

May's employment rate slightly increased by 0.2 percentage point to 47.7 percent compared with same period last year.

Labor force participation advanced by 0.5 percentage point year-on-year to 53 percent in the month.

The TurkStat report revealed that the number of women in the workforce rose by 1 percentage points from the previous year to 33.9 percent.

Commenting on the new figure, Ferhat Yükseltürk, managing director of Turkey Macro View Consulting, said that they expected further improvement in the employment market for the rest of the year in light of GDP growth rate estimates.

"In 2017, we expect 5.7-percent growth through strong incentives to boost domestic demand as well as a better-than-projected environment in our main trading partners," he added.

He said the number of employed people had jumped by 599,000 in five months, whereas the number of unemployed fell by 124,000 as of May.

This was "on the back of expansionary policy measures, mainly via fiscal tools," Yükseltürk noted

The number of seasonally adjusted employed persons increased by 44,000 to 27.9 million compared with the previous month and the seasonally adjusted employment rate stood at 46.7 percent in the month, according to TurkStat.

In the light of seasonally adjusted figures, Yükseltürk said the total payroll in Turkey continued to increase in May thanks to robust economic growth, despite a slower pace.

Seasonal adjustment removes the impact of seasonal patterns and provides a clearer view in data to show changes from month to month.

In the same period, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged and stood at 11.3 percent.

Orkun Gödek, vice president of Private Banking Capital Markets Products Sales at DenizBank, said that after the government's unemployment incentives, a stronger recovery was expected in the labor market; however, figures underperformed against expectations.

"The unemployment rate might decrease in the summer period," Gödek added.

Newly employed up 35.3 pct in first 7 months

The employment mobilization, initiated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this February, has received great support from the business world after employment figures in the first seven months of this year registered a record increase.

According to the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), around 643,000 people, of whom 68.2 percent were men and 35.3 women, became employed in the first seven months of 2017.

The number of newly employed rose by 35.3 percent compared to the same period last year. İŞKUR revealed that almost 96,698 individuals (64.1 percent men and 35.9 percent women) were newly employed this July alone.

Meanwhile, İŞKUR received almost 246,617 job vacancies from different employers in July, 99.1 percent more than July 2016.

In addition, the total number of job vacancies registered between January and June this year reached 1.6 million, experiencing a 37.6 percent rise compared to the same period of last year. Almost all, 99.6 percent, of the employment was created by the private sector.

During the same period, there were almost 2.6 million people were registered as unemployed in Turkey, of whom 51 percent were men and 49 percent women. Around 32.5 percent of the total unemployed were placed in the 15-24 age group.

In July, within the scope of the Active Labor Force Services, 23,905 people attended some 8,179 programs in Occupational Training Courses, 9,264 people attended 442 programs in Vocational Training Courses, and another 9,275 people participated in 358 programs in Entrepreneurship Training. A total of 42,444 people benefited from the Active Labor Market programs, while a total of 311,837 people participated in 77,750 programs organized in the January-July period.

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