Unemployment Rate in Turkey Hits 15 Percent

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DIYARBAKIR, Tukrey (Press TV)–Turkey’s employment rate has jumped to an all-time high of 15.5 percent, foreshowing a deep economic slump for the emerging economy.

Figures released by the Turkish Statistics Institute on Wednesday showed that the number of unemployed people in Turkey had risen by 1.59 million in January 2009 compared to the same period last year.

The total number of jobless individuals now stands at about 3.6 million, a staggering increase compared to last year’s 11.3 percent.

Unemployment in Turkey’s urban areas shot up 4.2 percent in January, reaching 17.2 percent. The figure also increased in rural areas, climbing 3.4 percent to stand at 11.8 percent.

The fall in employment figures resonated in the country’s industrial production rate, shrinking by almost a quarter in February compared to one year ago, with the key auto sector suffering some of the worst side effects.

In recent months, drops in exports, which have resulted from the global economic slowdown, have forced Turkish firms to lay off more and more workers.

Turkey’s industrial production fell 21.3 percent in January, indicating the biggest reduction since 1986, when the statistics agency first started issuing monthly figures.

Earlier this week, Ankara revised its forecast for this year’s economic contraction to 3.6 percent, after gross domestic product fell 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter, marking the country’s largest shrinkage in seven years.

The global crisis has hit Turkey hard as it has slashed European demand for Turkish-made goods, such as cars.

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