(Updates with seasonally adjusted figures, jobs created in fourth, fifth paragraphs.)
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9.1 percent in July, the lowest level since at least 2005, the statistics office said.
The rate fell from 9.2 percent a month earlier and was predicted to be 9.3 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of four economists. The rate was the lowest since January 2005, when Turkey began providing monthly figures. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell to 10.1 percent from 10.3 percent, the agency said.
The economy expanded an annual 8.8 percent in the second quarter of the year. Growth is now slowing as European sovereign debt problems suppress demand in Turkey’s biggest market, according to the central bank. The government expects the jobless rate to end this year at 10.5 percent, according to forecasts announced Oct. 13. It predicts gross domestic product growth this year of 7.5 percent and 4 percent in 2012.
The economy added 1.1 million jobs in services, construction and manufacturing and 400,000 on farms, the statistics office said. The workforce grew by about 1.2 million over the same period, it said.
The workforce participation rate, a measure of how many people of working age are employed or seeking jobs, rose to 51.2 percent from 50 percent a year earlier, the statistics agency said. Central bank Governor Erdem Basci argues that the rising participation rate will help hold down wage growth and limit the impact of falling unemployment on inflation.
The jobless rate among the urban population was 11.5 percent and among people aged between 15 and 24 it was 18.3 percent, the agency said.
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