Jobless rate down by 2.6 pct, boosting rapid economic recovery
Turkey's unemployment rate fell to 11 percent in May, with the number of jobless down by 536,000 year-on-year, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said yesterday. The total number of unemployed dropped below 3 million, according to the data, confirming analysts' expectations of Turkey's accelerated recovery from the limited impact of the global financial crisis. Unemployment had already dropped 2.9 percent to 12 percent in April year-on-year. Participation in the labor force, on the other hand, rose to 49.4 percent in May, marking a 1.2 percent increase year-on-year. TurkStat's new data also bolstered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's May prediction that the unemployment rate could drop below 10 percent in a couple of months. "Those who made fun of us when we said the world's economic crisis will only give Turkey a glancing blow before moving on are now eating their words," he said at the time. In related news, Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan said that the new figures foreshadow the rate soon falling to single digits. "The increase in our exports in January to May has played a particular role in the drop in unemployment," he added. "In order to reduce unemployment (further), the sustainable growth of our exports should continue."