Turkey youth unemployment hits record high of 27.4 percent

Turkey’s youth unemployment climbed to a record high of 27.4 percent in the three months to September as the aftershock of an economic downturn continued to reverberate through the jobs market.

The number of young people who were jobless rose from 27.1 percent in the three months to August, according to data published by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Friday. Youths without a job and not in education – an international benchmark for measuring youth unemployment - climbed to 30.1 percent from 29.4 percent.

Overall unemployment in Turkey increased to 14 percent from 13.9 percent in the period ending August, the institute said. It stood at 11.1 percent in September last year.

Turkey’s government is seeking to stimulate the troubled economy with cheap loans from state-run banks, tax cuts and lower central bank interest rates after a currency crisis last year sent economic growth rates diving into negative territory. The government revised down its growth estimate for 2019 to 0.5 percent in its latest economic programme revealed in late September.

Non-farm unemployment rose to 16.7 percent from 16.5 percent in August, according to the figures. It stood at 13.2 percent in September last year. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment was 14.2 percent compared with 14.3 percent in August, it said.

Although the unemployment rate in Turkey continues to rise, there are signs that the economy is recovering. Industrial output, the biggest contributor to economic growth in Turkey, expanded by 3.4 percent annually in September, increasing for the first time in 13 months. The economy shrunk by an annual 1.5 percent in the second quarter and by 2.4 percent in the first three months.

The government estimates that unemployment will decline to 12.9 percent by December and to 11.8 percent by the end of 2020.

Unregistered employment rose to 36.1 percent of the workforce from 36 percent in August, the figures showed. The rate was 34 percent 12 months earlier.