The unemployment rate in Turkey fell by 0.9% in March year-on-year, to reach 9.9%. In February the unemployment rate was 10.4%, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute. Unemployment in urban areas reached 11.6%, while unemployment in rural areas was just 6.4% during this period. The number of people out of work fell to 2.6 million, and the number of people employed increased from 23.2 million to reach 23.8 million.
Economists don't expect the unemployment rate fall sharply during the coming months, but are predicting it will continue to decline along similar levels. Although these unemployment figures are the best so far this year, there are concerns that the uncertainty in Europe will continue to impact upon economic activity in Turkey, and could affect exports.
The agricultural sector saw employment levels decline by 173,000 people during March, while employment in non-agricultural sectors increased by 704,000 people. In March 50.7% of people were employed in the services sector, 23% were employed in the agricultural sector, 19.8% in the industrial sector, and 5.9% in the construction sector.
However, only the services sector saw employment growth, up 2.3% in March, while employment in the agricultural sector declined by 1.2%, in the industrial sector by 0.8%, and by 0.3% in the construction sector. Total employment levels in the country were down slightly compared to a year earlier, falling to 48.6% compared to 49%. Nearly three quarters of those in employment in March were male and just over 50% have not received a high school education.