Turkish unemployment rate increases to 12.9 percent

Turkey’s jobless rate rose to 12.9 percent in the three months to December, according to figures published by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Wednesday.

The rate of unemployment increased from 12.7 percent in the three months to November, the data showed. The institute calculates unemployment over a three-month period, with the middle month the most heavily weighted.

A ban on companies firing staff means unemployment in Turkey has remained little changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, millions of people have been put on unpaid leave or short working weeks.

The labour force participation rate in Turkey, or the number of people in a job or actively seeking work, fell to 49.3 percent of the working age population, or by 1.4 million to 31.1 million people, in the three months to December from a year earlier. The rate stood at 50 percent in November and at 52.5 percent in December 2019.

The number of employed persons in Turkey fell by 1.1 million from the October-December period of last year to 27.1 million. That equates to 32 percent of the country's population of 83.6 million.

The youth unemployment rate – defined as the proportion of people aged between 15 years and 24 years neither in a job or education – stood at 27.1 percent, falling from 27.6 percent in the three months to November. The rate stood at 25.2 percent a year earlier.