Unemployment data unreliability revealed by discrepancy between agencies

Suspicions with respect to the reliability of the unemployment data have been raised one again after the month of August is marked with a huge discrepancy between the figures of the Turkish statistical authority TÜİK and employment agency İŞKUR.

Duvar English

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) released on Oct. 11 an August unemployment rate of 12.1 percent, saying that the country's unemployed army had increased by a mere 11,000. 

Heavily criticized for its data manipulation that is unrepresentative of the real situation in Turkey, TÜİK reported 3.9 million unemployed workers for August after a supposed decrease of 14,000 employed workers. 

The Turkish Employment Agency İŞKUR on the other hand said that the number of unemployed persons had increased by 199,000 in the same month, raising questions with regards to the credibility of the government institutions. 

The reason for the discrepancy results from the fact that in its calculation of data, TÜİK did not take into account 189,000 unemployed people who applied to İŞKUR for a job. 

The Research Center of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK-AR) released a report on the unemployment figures, noting the incredible gap between the two institutions' data. The research group said that although İŞKUR is one of the most widely used job search channels, its data has not been reflected on TÜİK calculations. 

Data of TÜİK is known to be detached from reality as officials who calculate the figures are said to be hand-picked by the government for their "loyalty."

There is widespread consensus that the ruling government is manipulating data on key parameters and this has become much more spread since the introduction of an executive presidential system in 2018.