The number of unemployed people in Turkey aged over 15 years rose to 3.22 million in February, while the unemployment rate declined to 11.2 percent, down from 11.3 percent in January. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s official data, the non-agricultural unemployment rate was 13.2 percent in the same period. Youth unemployment, among people aged between 15-24, remained at 20 percent.
The unemployment rate remained in the double-digits for the seventh month as high interest rates and the slowdown in the global economy are putting pressure on the Turkish economy. Analysts, however, suggest if a positive growth outlook remains intact during the second half of this year, the labour market will start to improve.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, Turkey’s central government’s budget realisation was announced. In April, Turkey had a budget surplus of 1.4 billion Turkish lira ($540 million), while the budget had a deficit of 4.1 billion Turkish lira ($1.6 billion) in the first four months of this year.
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said the budget deficit for the first four months is lower than it was last year, when it was 4.2 billion lira ($1.62 billion). Şimşek added that this year’s budget performance is stronger than last year’s.
According to the ministry, Turkey's government budget revenues reached 156.2 billion Turkish lira ($60.2 billion) in the first four months of 2015, 12.9 percent higher than in the same period of 2014.
Şimşek forecasts that as political stability and recovery in domestic demand after elections will contribute to budget revenues, Turkey will reach its budget deficit target this year.
The Turkish government aims to have a deficit of 21 billion Turkish lira ($8.6 billion) by the end of 2015.