Turkey: Unemployment rate rises to 12.1% in August
The unemployment rate in Turkey in August, which was 13% in the same month of the previous year, decreased by 0.9 points to 12.1%. When compared to the previous month, it is observed that the adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 points. While the unemployment rate among the young population was 22.7%; non-farm unemployment was realized as 14.2%.
When we look at the comparable periods, August 2020 – August 2021, it is seen that there was an increase of 2 points in the labor force participation rate between the relevant periods, with adjusted data. The workforce, which was 30 million 867 thousand people in the similar period of 2020, became 32 million 671 thousand people in August 2021. The labor force participation rate increased from 49.2% to 51.2%. Again, looking at the seasonally adjusted data; While the employment rate increased by 2.2 points to 45% compared to the same period of the previous year, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 14 thousand compared to the previous month. The idle workforce rate decreased to 22%.
We have observed the positive sectoral contribution of services (opening up) and agriculture (season effect) in unemployment in the past months. Compared to the previous month, the number of people employed in August increased by 26 thousand people in the agricultural sector, 217 thousand people in the industrial sector, and 83 thousand people in the construction sector, while it decreased by 341 thousand people in the service sector. In terms of the general course of employment, it is seen that the labor force, which increased rapidly after June, accelerated more slowly in the following months. In terms of unemployment benefit applications, an increase was observed in July and August, the period in question also corresponds to the end of the employment protection incentive programs implemented for the pandemic. The fact that employment does not increase sufficiently despite the labor force participation rate constitutes the basis of the increasing trend in the unemployment rate. Therefore, we do not expect a significant decrease in the unemployment rate in current trends.
The broad definition of unemployment continues to be problematic, the unemployed group included in the broad definition is at the level of 8.5-9 million, together with the post-pandemic job losses. From this point of view, we observe broad-defined unemployment and youth unemployment, well above the narrow-defined unemployment rate. Insufficient labor supply also has a negative impact on wages. An environment in which inflation is extremely high, especially in terms of the weight of the minimum wage earner in the population, does not contribute positively to the general course of purchasing power.
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