According to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK – TurkStat), Turkey’s unemployment rate increased to 13.7% in December 2019, up from 13.3% in November 2019. The figure for the month of December of the previous year was 13.5%. The rate for December 2019 comprises all those of 15 years of age and above, and represents a total figure of unemployed of 4,394,000, an increase of 92,000 on the figure for the same month of the previous year.
The unemployment rate for people aged between 15 and 64 was given as 14%, the estimated unemployment rate for those outside agriculture was given as 15.8%, and the unemployment rate among the young, which comprises of people aged between 15 and 24, was given as 25% in December 2019.
The number of people in the workforce in December 2019 was 27,658 thousand people, some 3 thousand higher than the same month of the previous year. This labour force total was 44.7% of the employable population.
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. The increase in December is despite the 6% growth in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is because growth has been created by cheaper credit which has pushed up consumer spending and imports rather than any significant increase in investment and production levels. Since the economic recession is expected to continue during 2020, no immediate improvement in employment levels is expected. The unemployment rate was recently as high as 14.7% in February 2019 which was the highest monthly rate since it hit 14% in 2009 following the global financial crisis.