Turkey unemployment rate falls to 12.8 percent as layoffs banned

Turkey’s unemployment dropped to 12.8 percent in the three months to May, the Turkish Statistical Institute said, during a ban on layoffs introduced by the government.

The jobless rate fell from 13.2 percent in the three months to April, the institute said on its website on Friday. Unemployment declined from 13 percent in the same period of last year.

Non-agricultural unemployment, when seasonally adjusted, fell to 14.9 percent in the March to May period from 15.1 percent in the three months to April.

Turkish official unemployment is falling after the government barred companies from sacking workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Unpaid leave has been allowed instead. The government is likely to extend the ban until October from July.

The headline unemployment figures hide significant stresses in the job market.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 13.8 percent in March to May from 13 percent in the three months to April.

The number of employed persons dropped by 2.59 million people to 25.6 million in the three months to May compared with the same period of 2019. The employment rate was 41.1 percent, declining by 4.9 percentage points, the institute said.

turkey unemployment
Source: Turkish Statistical Institute