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Turkish Unemployment Reaches Highest Rate in 19 Months

Turkish Unemployment Reaches Highest Rate in 19 Months

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 10:45
Workers chat at the international terminal of the city's new airport under construction in Istanbul, Turkey on August 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Ankara - Saeed Abdul Razek
Unemployment in Turkey reached its highest rate in 19 months reaching 11.6 percent in October 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Tuesday. The rate increased from 11.4 percent in September.

The number of jobless people – aged 15 and over – rose by 501,000 to 3.79 million, year-on-year in October, it added.

The previous highest rate was recorded in March 2017 at 11.7 percent when 3.64 million people were without a job.

In the two months ahead of general elections in June 2018, the unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent.

Some 52.9 percent of workers who took part in recent protesters in the country said that they took to the streets over unpaid salaries or after only receiving a part of them. A percentage of 19.9 protested because they were sacked from their jobs, while 19.8 percent said privatization drove them to rally.

Turkey witnessed protests in December in 16 sectors, including defense, security and textiles, said the report.

Meanwhile, Turkey's budget deficit stood at USD14.8 billion in 2018, higher than the target for the end of the year according to a government economic program unveiled in September.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak stated Tuesday: “We have reached the target of a 1.9-percent budget-deficit-to-gross-domestic-product ratio under the new economic program.”

The country’s budget revenues rose 20.2 percent to reach USD154.6 billion in the January-December period, while tax incomes went up 15.8 percent to hit USD126.8 billion, he noted.

“Our strong public financial structure and the fiscal discipline are among Turkey’s most important anchors,” he continued.

The government announced its three-year program to counter inflation and the sharp collapse of the lira in 2018.

The drop in value of the currency was sparked by a trade dispute with the United States. The crisis spurred inflation, which lies at 20.3 percent, much higher than the official target of 5 percent.

Turkey's inflation had hit a 15-year high of more than 25 percent in October, before easing to around 22 percent in November.

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