Unemployment in Turkey rose by almost 1 million in 2019 - TurkStat

Unemployment in Turkey increased by almost 1 million in 2019, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced on Friday.

TurkStat’s labour market statistics for last year showed that there were a total of 4,469,000 unemployed people aged 15 years and older in Turkey, which was an increase of around 932,000 from 2018. 

Turkey's unemployment rate was 13.7 percent in 2019, a 2.7 percent rise compared to the previous year.

Youth unemployment, in the 15 to 24 age group, reached 25.4 percent, an increase of 5.1 percent on the previous year. The unemployment figure for the general working population, aged 15 to 64, climbed 2.8 percent to reach 14 percent.

Majority-Kurdish Mardin, Batman, Şırnak, and Siirt provinces had the highest unemployment rate at 30.9 percent, while the central Black Sea region’s Kastamonu, Çankırı, and Sinop provinces had the lowest at 7.6 percent.

The Turkish economy contracted between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of last year. 

Turkey’s stumbling economy and rising unemployment fuelled anger last year against the presence of Turkey’s Syrian refugees, and many are resented by Turks as cheap labour taking over jobs and using services. 

The outbreak of the coronavirus will likely hit Turkey’s economy hard, mainly through international trade and the tourism industry. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday announced a 100 billion lira ($15.4 billion) aid package to help Turkey's economy cope with the impact from the coronavirus.