Babacan: "Turkey is far ahead of the EU in creating jobs"
Turkey has largely outpaced the European Union, which it hopes to join, in terms of creating jobs in the second quarter of this year, said State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday. Speaking at a forum organized by the Foreign Policy Association in New York, Babacan noted that this April through June Turkey added 1.6 million jobs year-on-year and that unemployment dropped 2.6 percent, while in Europe the jobless rolls added 1.8 million. The impact of the global economic crisis was most keenly felt in Turkey in February 2009 when unemployment hit a record high of over 16 percent, but this June the rate fell to 10.5 percent, according to official data. Officials and analysts alike believe this trend will continue throughout next year and eventually return to pre-crisis levels. On economic growth, Babacan pointed out that Turkey's growth was the fastest in Europe in the first six months of this year.