TURKEY

Turkey's unemployment rate at 10.2 percent in June

TURKEYS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AT 10.2 PERCENT IN JUNE

The unemployment rate in Turkey remained at 10.2 percent in June compared to the same month last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced Friday.

The number of jobless aged 15 and over in the country rose to 3.25 million, a rise of 124,000 from June last year, TurkStat said in a statement.

The unemployment rate in May was also at 10.2 percent.

June's employment rate rose 0.9 point to 48 percent -- 28.7 million people -- from the same period last year.

Labor force participation increased by one percentage point year-on-year to 53.4 percent.

The TurkStat report revealed that the number of women in the workforce rose 1.1 percentage point from the previous year to 34.1 percent.

The unemployment rate started the year at 13 percent in January. It dropped to 12.6 percent in February, 11.7 percent in March, 10.5 percent in April and 10.2 in May.

- Finance minister hails unemployment figure

Commenting on new data, Finance Minister Naci Agbal said the latest unemployment rate was positive compared with the last three years' figures and was coherent with the growth rate of over five percent which Turkey achieved in the first half of the year.

Turkey's annual unemployment rate stood at 10.9 percent in 2016 and 10.3 percent in 2015, according to TurkStat.

The country's economy grew 5.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period of 2016, TurkStat announced on Monday.

Employment is one of the most significant components of the economy, Agbal told Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara.

Agbal noted that one million persons annually join the labor force and programs have to be developed to provide jobs for these people.

The figures confirm that the government's employment campaign has been successful, Agbal stated.

"As of June, we see an upward trend in unemployment when we look at the last three years' unemployment figures. The unemployment figure starts January at the highest level, shows a downward trend until June and it rises again afterwards," the finance minister said.

"The unemployment figure remained the same in June compared with May this time. This is an indicator which verifies economic recovery and it is in parallel with the growth rate in the second quarter of this year," Agbal added.

Agbal said employment had been provided for an extra 1.5 million persons in the month compared with June 2016.

The number of employed persons rose to 28. 7 million in June 2017 compared with the same period of the previous year, according to TurkStat.

"This verifies expansion in the economy," Agbal added, pointing out an upward trend in youth unemployment and emphasizing that it should be handled.

TurkStat reports showed that the youth unemployment rate, including persons aged 15-24, stood at 20.6 percent with a 1.2-percentage point increase.

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