New Turkish labor data shows quarter million workers lost jobs in February

According to data provided by TÜİK, the highly criticized state statistical institute, the number of unemployed people in Turkey increased by 250 thousand people to 4.23 million in February, while the struggling service industry still employs the majority of the labor force.

K. Murat Yıldız / Duvar English

The Turkish Statistical Instıtute (TÜİK) announced its unemployment statistics for the month of February. The 'unemployment rate' increased by 0.7 points compared to the previous month, reaching 13.4 percent. The ‘idle labor’ rate, which is closest to the real unemployment rate, decreased by 1.2 points to 28.3 percent. Youth unemployment rose by 0.4 points to 26.9 percent.

Unemployment rising

According to TÜİK's February 2021 Labor Force Statistics, unemployment in Turkey rose to 13.4 percent in February, a 0.7 percentage point increase on a monthly basis, while the employment rate fell to 43.4 percent, a 0.1 percentage point decrease.

The idle labor force rate, which includes time-dependent underemployment, potential workforce, and unemployed, was 28.3 percent in February 2021, down 1.2 points from the previous month.

The combined rate of time-dependent, underemployment and unemployment was 19.8 percent, while the combined rate of potential labor force and unemployment was 22.5 percent.

The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 years old was 26.9 percent, up 0.4 points from the previous month, and the employment rate was 28.1 percent, down 0.3 percentage points.

The labor force participation rate for this age group, fell 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 38.5 percent.

Struggling service industry still employs majority of workforce

Compared to the previous month, the number of employed people in the agricultural sector fell by 52 thousand people, 166 thousand in the industrial sector, 37 thousand in the construction sector, and 157 thousand in the service sector in February.

The agricultural sector employed 17.4 percent of the workforce, industrial sector employed 20.8 percent, construction sector employed 6.0 percent, and the service sector employed 55.8 percent.

Compared to the same month the previous year, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points to 14.1 percent.

Compared to the same month the previous year, the number of unemployed people rose by 206 thousand, to 4.4 million people.

Unemployment rate at 14.1 percent without seasonal adjustments

In comparison to the same month the previous year, the non-seasonally adjusted job rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 42.9 percent.

The number of people working rose by 69 thousand, bringing the total to 27.15 million.

In February, the ratio of unregistered workers, which indicates the share of non-social security employees to total employees, fell by 2.8 percentage points to 27.4 percent, compared to the same month the previous year. In the non-agricultural sector, the rate of informal workers was 16.7 percent, down 3.6 percentage points from the previous month.