September unemployment slips to lowest level in 10 years at 8.8 percent

Today’s Zaman - Türkiye's unemployment dropped to 8.8 percent in September from 11.3 percent in the same month of the preceding year, hitting the lowest level since 2001, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) revealed on Thursday.

The lowest unemployment rate Türkiye experienced in the past decade was 7.8 percent in the third quarter of 2001. Türkiye's unemployment was down 2.5 percent in September over the ninth month of 2010, Thursday's TurkStat Household Labor Force Survey shows. This follows a 2.2 percent year-on-year drop in August: Türkiye's unemployment rate was at 9.2 percent in August, representing a drop of 2.2 percent compared to the eighth month of 2010. Observers argued the latest indices gave hope of further recovery in job markets through the end of the year. The government's Medium-Term Economic Program (OVP) estimates the year-end unemployment in Türkiye for 2011 at 12 percent. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan earlier this week said the year-end unemployment figures could be lower than what the government predicted in the OVP.

More than 1.7 million people joined the pool of the employed in Türkiye in the past 12 months to reach 24.75 million. Likewise, the number of unemployed decreased by 536,000 in September over the same period of the previous year and reached 2.4 million.

Stable growth in the economy is expected to help drive the country's unemployment further down. Türkiye registered the world's fastest economic growth rate with 9.6 percent in the first three quarters over the same nine months in 2010.
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