Turkey’s unemployment rate increases to highest level

Ankara: Unemployment in Turkey has increased to its highest level since July last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with youngsters being the most affected, according to official data.

The data published on Friday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) showed the unemployment rate reached 13.9 per cent in April, up 0.9 percentage points from the previous month and the number of the unemployed increased to 4.5 million, reports Xinhua news agency.

Youth unemployment for people aged between 15 and 24 increased to 25.6 per cent in the same month, one of the highest in European nations.

In an attempt to curb the increase in unemployment, the government has barred companies from laying off workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But businesses responded by the simple expedient of placing employees on unpaid leave.

The ban itself is due to expire at the end of this month, and economists expect a further rise in unemployment in the months to come.

Turkey’s economy has recorded a strong growth of 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.

However, the nation is still battling double-digit inflation and a weakening currency, which has lost more than half its value since 2018.