Duvar English

Turkey observed a spike in unemployment despite a layoff ban in place as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the country’s economy.

While youth unemployment climbed to 26.1 percent from June 2019, national unadjusted unemployment rose to 13.4 percent in the same time, Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported on Sept. 10.

Meanwhile, adjusted unemployment rates rose to 14.3 percent, with employment rate falling four percentage points to 42.4 percent from last year.

Ankara implemented a layoff ban on April 17 that got extended to Nov. 17, banning all employers from letting employees go.

The service industry observed the largest loss of workforce since June of 2019, TÜİK data showed, with the field losing 1.3 million workers, followed by industrial production that lost 319,000 employees.

Some 274,000 workers left the agricultural field since June 2019, TÜİK reported, and construction saw the smallest shrink in its workforce with 91,000 workers leaving in the year before June.

Currently, 20 percent of Turkey’s workforce are employed in industrial production, while 19.3 percent work in agriculture. Some 5.8 percent are construction workers and a whopping 55 percent are service workers.

However, Turkey’s workforce participation rate has also shrunk by 4.3 percent, over two million people, since June of 2019, noting 49 percent participation in June, TÜİK reported.

Meanwhile, the number of workforce members working without social security dropped a mere 3.9 percent from June 2019, still noting a critical 31.3 percent, meaning one out of every three Turkish worker lacks social security.