Official figures say unemployment continued to decline in August, opposition objects

Official figures say unemployment continued to decline in August, opposition objects
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TUIK said the number of unemployment dropped to 3,31 million in Turkey but CHP’s Veli Agbaba says this figure contradicts the numbers released by Turkey’s employment agency

Turkey's unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points month-on-month to 9.6% in August, data from TUIK (Turkish Statistical Office) showed on Monday, once again sparking concerns over the reliability of data. 

According to the TUIK, the number of unemployed in Turkey dropped by 100,000 to 3,31 million in August.

 However, opposition parties questioned government data delivered by the statistical office. 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Veli Agbaba said TUIK’s figures contradicted data released by Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR.)

Agbaba said in a statement that while TUIK manipulates the numbers creating an illusion, the real figures are revealed by ISKUR. 

He said the number of the unemployed registered with ISKUR was 3,343,000 in August, while TurkStat announced it at 3,312,000.

Economists also question the reliability of TUIK's figures about inflation. TUIK announced the annual inflation rate as 83,45% while ENAG (Independent Research Group) calculates the real inflation as 186,27%.

Opinion polls show about 50% of Turks believe inflation is far higher than official data.

"I no longer believe the official (TUIK) series. It looks like fantasy, wishful thinking. How can you conduct economic policy when the basic economic data cannot be trusted?" BlueBay Asset Management strategist Tim Ash said in January. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked the previous head of the statistics agency, after data showed last year’s inflation rate hit 19-year high.