‘Broad Unemployment Could Reach 16 Million in Turkey in the Aftermath of Covid-19’

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* Photo: Anadolu Agency (AA)

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  • Since the onset of the economic crisis in August 2018, unemployment has decreased by 2.5 million people.
  • The number of unemployed who have lost hopes for finding a job has increased by 486 thousand people in comparison with the previous year, reaching 1 million 107 thousand.
  • The rate of urban youth unemployment among women has reached 36 percent, marking the highest increase in February 2020.
  • Covid-19 outbreak can leave 8 million people without a job.

The above figures have been shared in a recent report prepared by the Research Center of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK-AR). The report entitled “The Outlook on Unemployment and Employment” has come one day after the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced its labor force statistics for February.

CLICK – TurkStat: Unemployment Rate Stood at 13.6 Percent

Evaluating the figures shared by the TurkStat, the report has noted that these data have been derived from the Household Labor Force Survey for the first quarter of 2020 and warned that the figures of the institute have not yet documented the economic blow delivered by the Covid-19 pandemic or the ensuing increase in unemployment and drop in employment.

The report has underlined that the effects of the pandemic can be observed in the figures to be shared in June and July. “Even in their current state, the data of the TurkStat paints a grave picture,” it has noted.

‘Effects of Covid-19 cannot be assessed with the methods used by TurkStat’

According to the report, the methods currently used by the TurkStat in calculating unemployment will fall short of assessing the effects of the increasing unemployment to be caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As indicated by the DİSK-AR, in order for a person to be recognized as unemployed, he or she must have used any job-seeking channels in the four weeks before the TurkStat conducts its survey.

However, in calculating the number and rate of the unemployed in Turkey, the DİSK-AR uses a broadly defined calculation method. The research center has shared the following figures based on this method:

  • Narrow unemployment (February 2020): 4 million 228 thousand
  • Broad Unemployment (February 2020): 8 million 427 thousand
  • Applications for short-term working pay (1): 3 million 500 thousand
  • Applications for unpaid leave allowance (2): 700 thousand
  • Applications for unemployment insurance fund allowance (March-April 2020) (3): 500 thousand
  • Workers aged 65+ and 15-17 staying home: 1 million 400 thousand
  • Self-employed having lost their jobs (4): 500 thousand
  • Estimated informal workers in the urban (5): 1 million 200 thousand
  • Estimated increase in unemployment, decrease in employment in the aftermath of Covid-19 (3+4+5+6+7+8): 7 million 800 thousand
  • Estimated Narrow Unemployment in the Aftermath of Covid-19 (1+9): 12 million 28 thousand
  • Estimated Broad Unemployment in the Aftermath of Covid-19 (2+9): 16 million 227 thousand

Job vacancies on the decrease

According to the report of the DİSK-AR, while the number of broad unemployment was 7 million 629 in February 2019, this figure increased by 729 thousand people in a year and became 8 million 427 in February 2020.

The same report has shown that the rate of broad unemployment in Turkey was 24.5 percent in February 2020.

Referring to the monthly bulletin of the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) for April, the report has underlined that the drop in the number of job vacancies offered by the agency “points at a grave picture.”

According to the related bulletin of the İŞKUR, while there were 167 thousand 306 open jobs in March 2020, this figure decreased to 52 thousand 418 in April. Last April, the number of job vacancies was 200 thousand 468, which marks an annual decrease of 73.8 percent.

* Job vacancies by months/years (January 2018-April 2020)

Highest unemployment among young women

The DİSK-AR report has also underlined that, for the last year, the highest unemployment has been among young women and women working in urban places. Noting that these two types of unemployment are still the highest in the country, the report has shared the following observations:

“In February 2020, the highest increase in unemployment was observed in the unemployment of young women in urban places. The unemployment rate of women in agriculture reached 30.3 percent.

“The non-seasonally adjusted youth unemployment fell by 1.7 points in the last year and became 24.4 percent in February 2020 and non-seasonally adjusted women unemployment was measured as 15.6 percent.

“With the onset of the crisis, the urban youth unemployment among women reached 36 percent, marking the highest increase in the category of women’s unemployment. In February 2020, the urban youth unemployment among women was again the highest unemployment.

“There is still an increase in the number of those who neither work nor study. This figure increase by 1.9 points in comparison with last February and reached 26.7 percent in February 2020.” (HA/SD)

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