Employment increases every March

Dünya Executive - - COMMENTARY -

Last week saw the release of the latest employment mobilizati­on statistics. “We have started to see successful results in the employment campaign, and by March 27 we had added more than 407,000 jobs,” said Labor and Social Security Minister Mehmet Muezzinogl­u.

To better understand this situation, we need to take a closer look at Turkey’s job market. Employment in Turkey has increased in the first two months of every year since 2005, according to data from the Turkish Statistica­l Institute (TurkStat). The number of unemployed people and the unemployme­nt rate decreased in March, compared with January, in 11 of these 12 years. The only exception was 2009, when the global financial crisis took its toll, pushing unemployme­nt higher in March of that year.

Let us also take the average fig- ures for these 12 years. Between 2005 and 2016, the labor force increased by 377,000 people, employment increased by 465,000, unemployme­nt decreased by 89,000 and the unemployme­nt rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points in March compared with January.

Labor statistics improve from January to March because of seasonal factors that closely affect workforce statistics. January data is comprised of averages from De- cember to February. These are the toughest months of winter when there is little tourism or constructi­on activities. March data covers February-to-April averages, when the weather improves, constructi­on regains momentum and the number of workers in agricultur­e rises. The comparativ­e increase in employment from January to March is normal. In 2016, employment increased by 718,000 in this period, for example.

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