Turkey has lowest employment rate among OECD countries

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published the labor force and employment report for the last quarter of 2022. According to the report, Turkey ranked last among the OECD countries with an employment rate of 53.7 percent.

People wait in line in front of the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR).

Duvar English

Turkey's employment rate has remained stagnant with the last quarter of 2022 showing a rate of 53.7 percent, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) report on the labor force and employment. This is significantly lower than the OECD average of 69.6 percent, a difference of 16.8 percentage points, and places Turkey last among 39 countries. 

Despite a slight improvement from the 44.58 percent rate recorded in 2006, Turkey's employment rate has only increased by 8.2 points over the past 16 years, according to reporting by the daily BirGün.

Turkey also had the lowest rate of female employment among the OECD countries. In the last quarter of 2022, female employment in Turkey was 35.5 percent. After Turkey, Costa Rica had the lowest female employment rate with 47.5 percent.

Unemployment is not the only category Turkey is at the bottom among the OECD countries. From economy to health, education to working life, Turkey often ranked the lowest in the list.

In terms of average weekly working hours, Turkey ranked second after Colombia in the OECD countries with 45.6 hours.

Following the announcement of the increase in the minimum wage in December 2022, Turkey moved up several places in the minimum wage rankings. However, as the euro exchange rate continues to rise, it has returned to where it was before the increase. The current minimum wage of 398 euros (8506 liras) is only ahead of Albania.

According to the 2022 Commitments to Reduce Inequality Index prepared by Oxfam and Development Finance International, Turkey is also the leader in income inequality among the OECD countries.