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Youth unemployment hits record high in Turkey

Turkey’s unemployment rate in the age group of 15 to 24 years surged to 27.4 percent in the August 2019 period hitting a record high, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) said on Friday.

Youths in this age group who are jobless and not studying climbed to 30.1 percent from 29.4 percent during this period, according to the TUIK report.

In the same period, the overall number of unemployed people in the age group of 15 to 64 years increased by 980,000 to 4,650,000 which corresponded to 14.3 percent with a 2.9 percentage point increase in the country when compared to the previous year.

Non-agricultural employment increased by 3.5 percentage points to 16.7 percent, with agricultural employment decreasing by 94,000 persons, the institute reported.

Turkey’s labor force was recorded as 28,529,000 workers, 789,000 less than the previous year.

Notwithstanding the actual figures, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) estimates that the unemployment rate will decrease to 12.9 percent by December and to 11.8 percent by the end of the next year.

Previously, several economists had predicted that Turkey’s economy would shrink further in 2019 following last year’s recession and bring prolonged high unemployment that could dampen the country’s productivity.

The Turkish government seeks to stimulate the shrinking economy with state-run banks offering cheap loans, tax cuts, and lower central bank interest rates. In late September, the AKP revised down the growth rate estimate for 2019 by 0.5 percent.

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