NEWS Human Resources        11/05/2020

Turkey’s unemployment rate decreases marginally to 13.6% in February 2020

According to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK – TurkStat), Turkey’s unemployment rate decreased marginally to 13.6% in February 2020, down from 13.8% in January 2020. The figure for the month of February of the previous year was 14.7%. The rate for February 2020 comprises all those of 15 years of age and above, and represents a total figure of unemployed of 4,228,000, a decrease of 502,000 on the figure for the same month of the previous year.

 

The unemployment rate for people aged between 15 and 64 was given as 13.9%, the estimated unemployment rate for those outside agriculture was given as 15.4%, and the unemployment rate among the young, which comprises of people aged between 15 and 24, was given as 24.4% in February 2020.

 

The number of people in the workforce in February 2020 was 26,753 thousand people, some 602 thousand lower than the same month of the previous year. This labour force total was 43.1% of the total population over 15 years of age. The  number of workers available for work in February 2020 is 30,982 thousand, a fall of 1,102 thousand on the same month of the previous year and 49.9% of the total population over 15 years of age.

 

There is much criticism of TurkStat’s employment statistics because of its definition of unemployed as those who have registered for unemployment within the last four weeks, whereas before 2014, this period was three months. Based on many other sources such as trade unions, the real unemployment rate is at least two times the official TurkStat calculation.

 

The currently high rate in unemployment is as a result of the on-going economic crisis in Turkey and the contraction in the economy especially in the first half of 2019. There has not been any substantial improvement in employment despite the 6% growth in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2019, since this growth was achieved through cheaper credit which has pushed up consumer spending and imports rather than any significant increase in investment and production levels. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and Turkey’s efforts to isolate the population in March 2020, the Turkish economy has been severely affected and much higher unemployment levels can be expected as from March 2020.

 

The total workforce (those working and those looking for work) is 30,982 thousand, 1,102 thousand lower than the same month of the previous year. This is only partly explained by the fall in total employment of 602 thousand, which itself needs an explanation since the coronavirus pandemic had not spread to Turkey until March. There has been a significant calculation revision by TurkStat which has reduced the total workforce and resulted in a much lower unemployment figure.

 

Murat Muratoğlu, an economist who has a column with the Sözcü newspaper, wrote a piece on the calculation of the unemployment rate in Turkey for February 2020. Is article is below in Turkish and English. Muratoğlu has a very light and sarcastic approach and his article makes a very amusing mockery of TurkStad’s preparation of the unemployment rate for February 2020.

 

“Müjde..... İşsizilk yine düştü !

 

İşsizliğin düştüğü açıklandı, aklıma Erdoğan’ın; “İşgücüne katılımdaki yükseklik sebebiyle, işsizlik rakamlarımız nispeten yüksek çıkıyor” sözleri geldi.

 

Hatta sonrasında; “İşsizliğin sebebi bizim istihdam oluşturamamış olmamız değildir” diye de eklemişti.

 

Demek ki işsizliğin düşük çıkması için ne yapmak gerekiyormuş? İş gücüne katılımın azaltılması ! Alt tarafı kağıt üzerinde iki kalem oynatılması….Nitekim İstatistik Kurumu şubat ayı işsizliğini açıklarken tam da bu formülü kullanmış. Haksız da sayılmaz…..  Hem işsiz güçsüzler, hem de iş arayıp ekonomiye zarar veriyor bazı kendini bilmezler! Sonra işsizlik “nispeten” yüksek çıkıyor.

 

Bariz işsizlik lobisinin işi…..  İşsizler olmasa işsizlik bir şey kalmayacak. Akılları sıra işsiz olup, aç kalıp ekonomiye darbe vuracak! İstatistik Kurumu bozmuş büyük oyunu ! Çalışma çağındaki nüfus 1 milyon kişi artıyor ama çalışmak isteyenler 1.1 milyon kişi azalıyor. Daha da ilginç çalışan sayısı 602 bin azalıyor. Aynı zamanda işsiz sayısı da 502 bin kişi azalıyor.

 

Saçma mı geldi? Kafanız mı karıştı? Yahu anlamadınız mı? Ülkede kimse çalışıp para kazanmak istemediği, herkesin tuzu olduğu işlerinden ayrılıyorlar. Bu sebebler işsizlik düşüyor.

 

Sorun İstatistik Kurumu’nda değil! İşsiz olduğu için evine ekmek götüremediği halde iş aramayıp aylaklık ediyorlar. Nasıl olsa ülkede yalancıyı kınamıyorlar ya ….

 

Sahi nasıl oluyor? Karıştırma oraları, ülkeyi yönetenler belli ki bir şey biliyor!

 

Şöyle anlatayım. Türkiye’nin nüfusu 83 milyon kişi …. Açıklanan çalışabilecek nüfus 62 milyon 120 bin kişi olarak hesaplanmış. Çalışan sayısı sadece 26 milyon 753 bin kişi …..

 

Anlayacağınız 83 milyon kişiye 26 milyon 753 bin kişi çalışıp bakıyor.

 

Sonra da bu ülkenin kalkınması, muasır medeniyetler seviyesine ulaşması bekleniyor. Çok beklersiniz! Durun siz… Bu daha şubat ayının rakamı …. Daha mart ile nisan ayını görmediniz!

 

İşsizleri hesaplarken 6 aydan fazla iş arayıp bulamayanlar işsizlik listesinden çıkartılıyordu eskiden….  Sonra bu süre 3 aya düşürüldü. O da işsizliği azaltamayınca 4 hafta iyidir denildi. Eğer işsiz olarak 5 hafta çnce başvurmuşsanız, sürpriz işsiz değilsiniz….

 

Maden oranı istediğin gibi ayarlıyorsun, şu işsizliği yüzde 5 seviyelerine indir değil mı ama! Yakışıyor mu bize? Bunun da inananı yok, onun da olmayacak. Lakin şekil olarak güzel duracak!”

 

“Good news...... Unemployment has fallen again

 

Following the announcement that unemployment has fallen, Erdoğan’s comment that “Because the number of people in the workforce is high, our unemployement figures are comparatively high” comes to mind. He later added that “The reason for unemployment is not because we cannot create employment”.

 

In this case, what do we need to do to ensure low unemployment? We need to reduce participation in the workforce!  In effect, on paper two figures need to be altered....

 

Accordingly, the Statistical Insitute, in announcing its February unemployment figure, used this formula. You cannot say they were unjustified....  The unemployed shamelessly contributed nothing and also harmed the economy!  As a result, unemployment figures were “comparatively” high.

 

Clearly the work of the unemployment lobby....  If there were no unemployed, there would be no unemployment. They think that they can remain unemployed and on the other hand starve and undermine the economy! The Statistical Institute has thereby stopped this big scheme! The employable population age group was increased by 1 million, but those wanting to work decreased by 1.1 million. Even more interestingly, the number of people working fell by 602,000. At the same time, the number of unemployed fell by 502,000.

 

Does this seem nonsensible? Are you confused? Did you not understand? Nobody wants to work and earn money in the country, everyone is leaving their employment from which they need to make make a living. This is why unemployment is falling!

 

The problem is not with the Statistical Institute! Despite the fact that they cannot support their households because they are unemployed, they are not looking for work and are lazing about. In any case, nobody condemns liars in this country.... how did this come about? Do not bother to worry about this, those running the country obviously know something!

 

Let me explain. Turkey’s population is 83 million. ... The population which is able to work has been calculated as 62 million 120 thousand. Those working have only been shown as 26 million 753 thousand.....

 

As you will understand, 26 million 753 thousand people are working to look after 83 million people.

 

Then it is expected that the country will develop and attain the level of contemporary civilisations. You will have a long wait! Just wait... This is only the February figure... You have not yet seen March and April!

 

Previously while calculating unemployment, those looking for and not finding employment for over 6 months were excluded...... Then this period was reduced to 3 months. When this did not reduce unemployment, it was decided for 4 weeks. If you had applied as unemployed 5 weeks ago, surprise surprise... you are not unemployed......

 

Since you can set the rate as you want, why not reduce it to levels close to 5%!  Is this becoming of us? Nobody believes this, nobody will also believe that. However, it will look good as a figure!”

 



Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 21.56% to TL 2,825.90 (USD 380) as of 01.01.2021       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s official annual inflation rate increases to 16.19% in March 2021       Turkey’s official unemployment rate jumps to 13.4% in February 2021       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 83,614,362 as of 2020 yearend       Foreigners visiting Turkey in 2020 falls by 71.7% to 12.7 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 173.9 billion as of 2020 yearend       Turkey’s economy grew by 1.8% in 2020       Foreign Direct Investment inflow to Turkey was USD 7.7 billion in 2020