Turkish Unemployment Rate Climbs to Highest in Five Years

Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to the highest level since 2010 as the number of jobs in construction and agriculture declined in January.

Unemployment rose to 11.3 percent in January from 10.9 percent in December, missing the median estimate of 11.2 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The number of those employed in agriculture and construction sectors fell by 300,000 to 6.5 million, Turkey’s state statistics bureau in Ankara said Wednesday.

Turkey’s economic growth during the first quarter of the year has been slow after gross domestic production expanded at a lower-than-expected pace of 2.9 percent in 2014, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said Wednesday in Ankara. The recent rise in the unemployment rate is due to an expansion in the workforce, he said.

“Volatility in the financial markets has resulted in a delay in investment and consumption,” Simsek said. “Growth will pick up in the second half of this year and there will be a marked improvement in unemployment.”

The lira was little changed at 2.6884 per dollar at 10:08 a.m. in Istanbul.

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