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Official data show Turkey’s unemployment rate dropping, opposition MP disputes figures

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The unemployment rate in Turkey fell by 1.4 percentage points year on year to 10.1 percent in July and by 0.3 points in comparison to June, according to official figures announced on Monday, although an opposition lawmaker is disputing the reliability of the data.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the number of unemployed dropped by 113,000 to 3.44 million in July, standing at 8.6 percent among men and 13.1 percent among women.

Employment was recorded at 47.3 percent in July, with a 0.3 point fall in comparison to June. The employment rate was 64.6 percent among men and 30.3 percent among women.

The number of employed was 30.6 million in July, decreasing by 148,000 in a month.

Although TurkStat data show a downward trend in the unemployment rate, they contradict data released by the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), according to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Veli Ağbaba.

Ağbaba said in a video on Twitter that the more İŞKUR says unemployment has increased, the more TurkStat says it has gone down.

He said the number of unemployed registered with İŞKUR was 3,538,000 in July, while TurkStat announced it at 3,445,000. The number of unemployed dropped from 3,752,000 to 3,445,000, according to TurkStat, while İŞKUR’s data show 542,669 more people have joined the jobless since July 2021, said Ağbaba, pointing to the inconsistencies between the unemployment figures of the two state agencies.

“How nice that we have a state agency called TurkStat which announces an unemployment rate even lower than the number of unemployed officially registered,” said the CHP lawmaker.

TurkStat has been receiving growing criticism from opposition parties and government skeptics for not releasing accurate figures for important statistics such as inflation and unemployment, instead, presenting statistics that fail to reflect the market realities. The institute is accused of manipulating the numbers in order to mask the scale of the country’s economic deterioration.

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