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Tourism crisis and coup attempt hit unemployment


Marion James, Istanbul

Data released yesterday by the Turkish Statistical Institute demonstrate that unemployment, which was already at high levels due to the tourism crisis, rose even further following the attempted coup on 15 July.

The trend began back in May, which is usually the lowest month of the year for unemployment as hotels and businesses that serve tourists take on seasonal workers for the summer. But in 2016 instead of May's unemployment rate being the usual 1 basis point lower than April's, it was 0.1 basis points higher (at 9.4%).

The instability brought by the July coup attempt did more damage to the tourism scetor which is the motor of Turkey's summer economy. This has caused a knock on effect to other sectors as the economic crisi widened and unemplyment jumped a full 2 basis points to 11.3% in August and stayed there for September (the last month for which we have verified data).

August and September inflation have nor been this high since the previous crisis year of 2009.

Economists also blame the 30% increase in minimum wage which applied at the beginning of 2016. They also point to the fact that instability means companies have cut their investment spending. Of course, the presence of a large number of Syrian workers who are being taken advantage of in the grey economy also has a major effect on the employment prospects for unskilled and semi-skilled Turks.


Tags: 2016 | unemployment |
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