Unemployment down again… Really?

Turkish statistics office (Turkstat) unveiled the October 2020 employment figures.  The official unemployment rate is down to 12.7% as per the Turkstat figures, yet the details beg for explanation.

That is, TUrkey’s labor force has increased by 1.17 million over the past 12 months up until October 2020, which is consistent with the average age of 31 years in the population.  Yet, quizzically the labor force is down by 1.28 million during the same term.

In the COVID-19 hit Turkish economy where people are urgently trying to hold on to their jobs, the employment is also down by 896K and hence the employment rate is down to 43.6% as of October 2020 from 45.9% a year earlier.

Based on this puzzling sociological ground, the math calls for a 0.7% drop in Turkey’s unemployment rate in a year’s time to 12.7% from 13.4% a year ago.

The rest of the figures reflect the structural problems in Turkey’s labor markets.

Staring with the youth unemployment rate between aged 15-24 years very high at 24.9%; though down by  0.4 percentage points compared to last year.  Turkey’s population of not participating in the labor force is up by 1.3 million in the past 12 months which is again a very troubling figure. Finally, the female unemployment rate is announced as 15.5% which is 1.5 percentage points lower than October 2019 while the female labor participation rate is very low at 31.3% and coming down. As per the official figures.