Turkey’s real unemployment figures surpass official statements by five million, labor union says

The number of unemployed persons stood at 8.1 million in October, five million more than the official figures announced by state-run TÜİK, according to the Research Center of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK-AR).

Duvar English

The Research Center of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK-AR) announced the “real” number of unemployed persons in Turkey as 8.1 million in October. 

According to the Household Labor Force Survey by the state-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), the number of unemployed individuals aged 15 and over decreased by 163,000 to 2.9 million in October compared to the previous month.

Taken from TÜİK's website.

Seasonally adjusted “narrow-defined unemployment rate” and seasonally adjusted “broad-defined” unemployment rate (idle labor force) were 8.5 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively. 

The narrow definition considers unemployed individuals who actively searched for work in a specific time frame while broader definition expands this by including those who desired employment but did not actively seek it during the reference period.

DİSK-AR underscored the 13 points difference between the narrow and broad definitions and stated, “The most important reason for the widening gap is the increase in the number of time-dependent underemployment, the number of those who have lost hope while seeking job, those who are not looking for a job but are ready to work and those who are looking for a job but cannot start work.”

The number of time-related underemployment increased from 298,00 in October 2019 to 1.8 million in October 2023, according to DİSK-AR. The number of potential labor force increased from 1.7 million in 2019 to 3.3 million in 2023. 

According to DİSK-AR’s calculation based on TÜİK’s idle labor force ratio, the number of seasonally adjusted broad-defined unemployed was 8.1 million in October 2023.