Turkey’s actual unemployment figures stand at 7,724,000, in stark contrast to official figures of 4,243,000, according to a recent report prepared by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s parliamentary group.
The latest official figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) indicate that the country’s unemployment rate stood at 13 percent as of June 2019, a year-on-year increase of 2.8 percent. The official number of unemployed people in Turkey increased by an alarming 938,000, compared to June 2018. TurkStat’s numbers also showed youth unemployment (pertaining to those aged 15-24) at 24.8 percent, a 5.4 percent increase. The youth unemployment rate tends to be substantially higher than the overall rate.
According to the CHP’s report, the official figure of 4.2 million doesn’t reflect the actual severity of the country’s unemployment woes noting that the figure increases to 6.6 million when the number of those who are not actively searching for work due to the belief that they won’t be able to find it is taken into account. That number accelerates further to 7.7 million when including those working one job but searching for employment in their usual field, as well as those who are working short-term jobs but who are able and/or willing to take on full-time employment.
The 7.7 million figure puts Turkey’s unemployment rate at 22 percent, significantly beyond the official rate of 13 percent. Turkey’s economy has struggled in recent years, amid a weakened lira, high inflation rates that have resulted in ballooning prices of everyday goods, and a sluggish job market that has kept unemployment figures in double digits.