"Do you know why the jobless rate is increasing? More people seek jobs during crises. And particularly, the rate of women participating in the labor force increases during periods of crises," reported daily Hürriyet yesterday, quoting Economy Minister Mehmet Şimşek.
Speaking at a conference in Eskişehir on Wednesday, Şimşek said the labor force has increased by 1.13 million within the past year and that approximately 300,000 people have found jobs.
But the remaining people could not be employed, which is the basic reason for the rise in the jobless rate, he said.
Because of the current economic slowdown, more than 150,000 people have lost their jobs, said Şimşek. "It is important to read the unemployment data accurately," he said.
Referring to Turkey’s young population, Şimşek said: "The economy has to find jobs for 700,000 people a year. The jobless rate increases rapidly and will continue rising as we fail to do so on grounds that there are not enough job opportunities."
It is important to read these jobless rates properly in terms of the impact on the real economy, he said, adding that these rates can pump pessimism into the country. "If a person loses a job and does not receive payment from the unemployment fund, that person is excluded from the market in terms of purchasing power. But if one comes for the first time to the labor market, it has a more limited impact on economy."
A written statement from the minister’s office yesterday objected to the Hürriyet story, reported Anatolia news agency. "The title of the story Ğ ’Şimşek charges unemployment on women’ Ğ is only a comment of the newspaper," the office said. "The minister expressed that the rate of the participation of women into the labor force has increased during previous crises. This is only sharing statistical data. The title used by the daily is not an expression that belongs to the minister."