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Turkish jobless rate hits 4-year high, lira sinks further

Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to 10.5 percent in September compared with 10.1 percent in the previous month, the highest since February 2011, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said on Monday, sending lira to new lows against the US dollar.

TurkStat also said Turkey’s non-farm unemployment rate was 12.7 percent in September. The country’s youth jobless rate also reached an alarming level of 19.2 percent in September, the government data revealed.

Lira sank following the unemployment data on Monday to trade at 2.314 per US dollar. Observers said Sunday’s government-sponsored police raid on Turkey’s best-selling daily Zaman has had a negative impact on markets, especially lira with investors flocking to sell the currency. In response to media raids and detentions across Turkey on Sunday, EU and the US called on Turkish authorities to protect media freedom and other democratic values.

Monday’s figures show that agricultural industry lost 190,000 jobs in September over a year ago while services lost 13,000, industry gained 49,000 and construction gained 11,000. Total job loss in this period was 144,000.