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World

Turkey joblessness up; underutilisation eases from record

  • The non-agricultural unemployment rate rose to 15.3% from 14.6% a month earlier and youth unemployment rose 0.4 points to 26.9%.
Published April 12, 2021
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ISTANBUL: Turkey's unemployment rate climbed 0.7 points to 13.4% in February before coronavirus measures were eased, while a measure of labour underutilisation dipped to 28.3% from a record high in the previous month, data showed on Monday.

The seasonally-adjusted underutilisation rate, a reflection of how the pandemic weighs on workers, had risen for four months leading to January's high of 29.5%. The last peak, 29.3%, was in May last year during the most severe COVID-19 lockdowns.

Throughout the pandemic, unemployment has been held down by a ban on layoffs that has been extended through mid-May.

From January, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) employment data was presented in a new format in line with international standards, including the underutilisation data.

TUIK is now releasing single-month data rather than a three-month period, complying with International Labour Organization (ILO) resolutions and European Union regulations.

A combined measure of time-related underemployment and unemployment fell to 19.8% in February from 20.1% a month earlier, TUIK said.

The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate in February rose 0.3 points from a month earlier to 50.1%.

The non-agricultural unemployment rate rose to 15.3% from 14.6% a month earlier and youth unemployment rose 0.4 points to 26.9%.

While some measures were eased in March, the government has been reversing course in recent weeks. Virus curbs remain on restaurants and cafes and dining will be halted at restaurants for the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Separate data on Monday showed Turkey's current account deficit widened to $2.61 billion, exceeding a Reuters poll forecast of $2.575 billion.

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