By H. BADER ARSLAN
Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced the November labor statistics this morning. With 12.9%, unemployment in November was lower on an annual basis but higher than the previous month.
While the number of employed people was 28.1 million in the same period of the previous year, it decreased to 27.6 million in the November period of 2020. In other words, there was a decline of about 1 million in the total number of employees.
The number of unemployed in the same period fell from 4.3 million to 4 million. Both the number of employees and the number of unemployed decreased during the COVID-19 period, due to the decline in the labor force participation rate and the dismissal bans. The participation rate decreased from 52.5% at the end of 2019 to 49.3%, according to the data announced today.
Another remarkable point in the data is the increase in public employment. During 2020, the number of public sector employees increased by almost 150,000. Public employment increased from 4.6 million at the end of 2019 to 4.7 at the end of 2020. While there is a decrease of 1.1 million people in total employment, an increase of 150 people in public employment indicates a decline in private sector employment by 1 million 250 people.
Turkey has the lowest employment rate
Among the labor force data, one that has not shown much interest, but is very important, is the employment rate. It is calculated by the ratio of the number of employees to the active population. Turkey always has been among the countries with the lowest overall rate of this. Although there has been an increase in the 2000s, the direction has turned down since 2018. The rate fell from 45.6% in November 2019 to 42.9% in November 2020. The employment rate declined to 41.4% in the spring.
TURKSTAT will announce the overall labor force statistics for the year 2020 next month. However, as of today, we can say that the unemployment rate will be 13.2% throughout the year. Labor force data are actually not just for the months they were announced; the November period data announced today includes labor force indicators for October-November-December. The average of the data for February, May, August and November gives us an approximate picture of the year. If we look for the unemployment rate, the average of 13.6% in February, 12.9% in May, 13.2% in August and 12.9% announced today shows us that the unemployment will be announced as 13.2% in 2020.