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Jobless rate climbs to 12 percent in July as supports end in Turkey

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Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to 12.0 percent in July from 10.6 percent a month earlier as pandemic-related labor supports expired, according to data on Friday that also showed an uptick in the underutilization of workers, Reuters reported.

A ban on layoffs imposed during the coronavirus outbreak and a government wage support system, both adopted in early 2020, expired at the start of July. read more

Both measures were designed to support businesses and registered employees during the pandemic while keeping a lid on the jobless rate, which peaked at 14.4 percent in July last year.

In July this year, a seasonally adjusted measure of labor underutilization climbed to 23.6 percent from 22.4 percent a month earlier. It had risen at the start of the year to around a peak touched in May of 2020 during the height of the initial COVID-19 lockdown.

The labor force participation rate rose 0.9 percentage points from a month earlier to 51.2 percent in July. From January, the data was presented in a new format in line with international standards.

Turkey had imposed a full lockdown in the first half of May as COVID-19 cases surged to record levels but began easing restrictions in the second half of that month, giving a boost to sectors including tourism, restaurants and cafes.

The seasonally-adjusted youth unemployment rate was 23.1 percent in July, unchanged from the level a month earlier. The non-agricultural unemployment rate was at 13.9 percent in July, up 1.6 points from a month earlier.

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