Turkey’s unemployment at almost 10 million, double official data, union says

Turkey’s unemployment is more than double official figures because the government does not include millions of jobless people in its calculations, according to the research arm of Turkish labour union DİSK.

A government ban on laying off workers or requiring them to be put on short working weeks means official unemployment in the three months to August stood at 4.23 million, a reduction of 369,000 from the previous month, DİSK said. But the real figure including such unemployed people is 9.8 million, more than double the government’s claims, it said, citing its own research.   

The outbreak of COVID-19 meant unemployment increased by 1.88 million in July alone, DİSK said, according to a report on the Diken news website on Tuesday.

Turkey’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 13.4 percent in the June to August period, official data published on Monday showed. The seasonally adjusted rate fell for the first time this year.

Joblessness was 13.9 percent in the same period of 2019, the Turkish Statistical Institute said. Unemployment dropped to 13.6 percent in the three months to August from 14.3 percent in the same period to July, when accounting for seasonal factors, it said.

DİSK said the number of unemployed people in Turkey with no hope of finding work has increased by 1.33 million in the past year.