Unemployment in Turkey jumps by 85,000 in January, reaching 3.2 million people

The number of unemployed people increased by 85,000 compared to last month, reaching 3.2 million in January, according to official statistics by TÜİK. Labor union DİSK reported that the number of broadly defined unemployed was 10.45 million in the same period.

Duvar English

Seasonally adjusted (narrow-defined) unemployment rate was 9.1 percent and the composite measure of labour underutilization (broad-defined unemployment) rate was 26.5 percent in January 2024, according to state-run Turkish Statistics Institute's (TÜİK) Household Labor Force Survey.

The narrow definition of unemployment 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.

The number of narrow-defined unemployed persons aged 15 and over in Turkey was 3.21 million in January 2024, 85,000 more than the previous month, according to the official statistics. 

Unemployment rate increased by 0.2 points compared to the previous month and decreased by 0.6 points compared to the same month of the previous year.

This graph taken from TÜİK shows seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, January 2022 - January 2024.

Unemployment rate was reported as 7.7 percent for men and 11.7 percent for women.

In the said month, youth unemployment rate, which covers the 15-24 age group, jumped by 1.1 percentage points compared to the previous month and became 16.6 percent. In this age group, the unemployment rate was 14.1 percent for men and 21.1 percent for women.

The seasonally adjusted number of employed persons increased by 160,000 persons in January compared to the previous month and reached 32.22 million. The total employment rate also increased by 0.2 points to 49 percent, while this rate was 66 percent for men and 32.4 percent for women.

Broad-defined unemployment hits record high of 10.5 million, labor union reports

According to the calculation made by the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions Research Center (DİSK-AR) based on TÜİK data, the number of seasonally adjusted broad-defined unemployed was 10.45 million people in January 2024.

The number of unemployed people increased by 2.15 million in the last one year and by 5.1 million people in the last 10 years. Thus, the number of broad-defined unemployed doubled in the last 10 years.

"The reason for this increase in the number of broad-defined unemployed is the increase in the number of time-based underemployment and the potential labor force, which includes the hopeless, those who are not looking for a job but are ready to work, and those who are looking for a job but cannot start working immediately," said DİSK-AR.

The number of time-limited underemployed, which includes those who work less than 45 hours per week and would like to work more if they could, increased by 1.3 million people in the last year, from 1.9 million to 3.2 million.

According to DİSK-AR, broad-defined unemployment rate of women was 33,8 percent and unemployment rate of young women was 21.2 per cent. 

Of those officially considered unemployed, 87.7 percent did not receive unemployment allowance.