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Turkish unemployment drops to 11.2 percent, underutilization rate increases

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Turkey’s unemployment rate declined to 11.2 percent in October, from 11.8 percent a month earlier, while a seasonally adjusted measure of labor underutilization rose to 22.8 percent from 21.8 percent, according to official data released on Friday.

The labor underutilization measure had risen at the start of the year close to a peak reached during the height of the initial COVID-19 lockdown in May 2020.

The labor force participation rate rose 0.1 percentage points from a month earlier to 52 percent in October, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) also showed.

The number of unemployed people aged 15 and over fell by 75,000 to nearly 3.7 million.

From January, the data was presented in a new format in line with international standards.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has replaced the head of TurkStat four times since April 2019, confirming claims that he wasn’t pleased with the TurkStat figures when they were higher than his expectations.

Over the past several years, Turkey has been suffering from backsliding in its economy, with high inflation and unemployment as well as a poor human rights record. Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing a one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.

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