TODAY’S – Unemployment again hits four-year high, rises to 10.9 percent

Unemployment again hits four-year high, rises to 10.9 percentThe unemployment rate in Turkey was 10.

9 percent in December 2014, a four-year high and an increase from Novemberand#39s rate of 10.7 percent, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Monday.

The rate was slightly lower than forecasts of 11.1 percent, although the figures marked the second month in a row that Turkeyand#39s unemployment rate hit a four-year high.

Around 315 million people were without jobs in DecemberNon-agricultural unemployment stood at 12.9 percent, while youth unemployment reached 20.

2 percent, up from 19.9 percent in November, meaning one in five young people between the ages of 15 and 24 was jobless in December of last yearA total of 33.

2 percent of Turkeyand#39s workforce was unregistered, meaning that one in three people held informal employment for which they were unable to receive insurance or social security benefits.Known for its high number of informal laborers, 81.

9 percent of Turkeyand#39s agricultural sector consisted of unregistered workers in December The unemployment rate was 12.6 percent for women and 10.

2 percent for men.The service sector still constituted more than half of the countryand#39s total labor force, as 52.

8 percent were employed in service jobs as of the last month of 2014. A total of 19.

5 percent of Turkeyand#39s workforce came from the agricultural sector, 20.5 percent were employed in the industrial sector and 71 percent were employed in construction.

Turkeyand#39s unemployment rate hovered above the double-digit mark for most of 2014, while the youth unemployment rate was double that, a fact that has created more concern than the overall rate.The proportion of young people in Turkey who are not employed or engaged in education or training is the highest among all the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)ountries, a recent study has shown.

According to the preliminary findings of an ongoing study conducted by the OECD — titled andldquoNEET youth in the Aftermath of the Crisis: Challenges and Policiesandrdquo — 59 million out of 17 million young people in Turkey aged between 16 and 29 were classified as andldquonot in education, employment or trainingandrdquo (NEET) in 2012, topping the list at 35 percent and ranking higher than all other OECD members.CHP: Turkeyand#39s economy most troubled among its peersOpposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party deputy HurIit GuneI said that Turkeyand#39s economy was the most troubled among developing countries, in a written statement on Monday.

andldquoWith foreign debt totaling $400 billion, this is half of a national income that is unlikely to surpass $790 billion. When interest on debt rises around the world, what happens to a country with heavy debt when its production stops? Every serious economist knows the answer We hope that with a potent and radical change Turkey can avoid this highly probable situation,andrdquo GuneI said.

GuneI also said actual figures for unemployment in December are higher than the official statistics indicate when one factors in an additional demographic.andldquoThe number of people who are not searching for work but would work if an opportunity arose amounts to 2418 million people.

Adding this 84 percent to the official 10.9 percent, it becomes 19.

3 percent. That is to say it is not only youth unemployment that falls around the 20 percent mark.

This means that 5565 million people are out of work. This is an extraordinary [number], and practically a record in recent national history! Unemployment to such a degree was not seen in 1994 — or in 2002 or 2009,andrdquo GuneI said.

andldquoIn spite of the major decline in value of the Turkish lira there is no visible increase in exports. andhellip Such production is slowing down and unemployment is rising.

If this continues, the number of jobless could easily reach 6 million by the end of year!andrdquo said GuneI.Noting that unemployment could be alleviated with the proper policies, he added that the country should pursue an industrialization strategy to boost growth and strengthen the workforce.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman