The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported conflicting labor statistics for August once again, claiming contractions in both unemployment and the portion of the public who have jobs.
While unemployment allegedly dropped by 0.8 percent in August from a year ago to reach 13.2 percent, TÜİK also said that the number of people with jobs shrank by 2.4 percent for a total of 43.9 percent.
Perhaps the key to explaining the contradictory data was TÜİK's calculation of the workforce participation rate, which they placed at 50.6 percent after a 3.3 percent drop in August from a year ago.
Meanwhile, economists once again spoke out against TÜİK's data on the grounds that it was a misrepresentation of the current labor force landscape.
Turkish economist Mustafa Sönmez noted that widely defined unemployment was in fact at 30.6 percent, including workers who had stopped looking for jobs out of despair, those who had insufficient employment and those who had part-time employment.
TÜİK işsizliği %13,2, gerçek işsizlik ise %30,6.— Mustafa Sönmez (@mustfsnmz) November 10, 2020
TÜİK, iş arayan işsiz 4,2 milyon diyor,
iş aramayan, iğreti çalışan ve ücretsiz izinli işsizlerle sayı 10 milyonu , işsizlik oranı yüzde 30'u geçiyor.
İşte veriler ve hesap:??? pic.twitter.com/JroO56GFNo
Meanwhile, Turkish economist Prof. Veysel Ulusoy said that unemployment should be modeled with new data.
TÜİK's labor force data has been under scrutiny since June, when the institute reported a contraction in the unemployment rate despite very apparent mass layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TÜİK's latest labor force reports were released in the midst of a crisis following Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's resignation on Instagram on Nov. 8, and the consecutive silence from the state.
Labor confederation opposes official data
Turkey's Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) also came out in opposition of the official state numbers, recalculating essential numbers in accordance with guidelines from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
According to DİSK's research and development team, the actual increase in unemployment in August was a shocking 10.5 million, totaling a 29.3 percent spike from August 2019.
Meanwhile, some the body of employed workers shrank by 975,000 people in the year preceding August, contracting to 43.9 percent of the labor force holding a job.
Lastly, the confederation estimated that the number of workers who stopped looking for jobs more than doubled in the year preceding August, jumping from 613,000 to 1.3 million.Erdoğan tells workers to 'enjoy nice cup of tea' if they 'can't bring home bread'Turkey's former economy czar Babacan slams official unemployment numbersFinance Minister Berat Albayrak announces resignation on Instagram