In May, the unemployment rate in Turkey was realized as 12.8% compared to the same month last year’s 12.9%. When compared to the previous month, it is seen that the unadjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 points. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, on the other hand, increased by 0.1 points compared to the same month of the previous year and increased by 0.2 points compared to the previous month and was announced as 14%. While the youth unemployment rate was 26.9% according to the adjusted data; Non-agricultural unemployment was 16.4%.
When we look at the comparable periods May 2019 - May 2020, it is seen that there is a 5.3 point decrease in the labor force participation rate between the relevant periods. The labor force, which was 32 million 423 thousand people in the similar period of 2019, became 29 million 691 thousand people in May 2020. The labor force participation rate has decreased from 52.9% to 47.6%. Again, looking at seasonally adjusted data; While the employment rate decreased by 4.6 points compared to the same period of the previous year and became 40.9%, there was a decrease of 43 thousand people in seasonally adjusted employment compared to the previous month. During this period, seasonally adjusted employment increased by 96 thousand people in the agricultural sector, 107 thousand in the construction sector, while it decreased by 72 thousand in the industrial sector and 174 thousand in the service sector.
Although the unemployment rate remained at relatively low levels in May, we must also take into account the difference in current labor statistics for those who are not currently working in practice but appear in employment. As of August, 4.5 million people have benefited from the extended short-time work allowance and unpaid leave support, and the dismissal ban continues. In this context, had it not been for these employment benefits, the unemployment rate would have been officially higher. In a period of significant uncertainty on economic activity such as the second wave of the virus, it is a situation that can be expected to extend the supports such as short-time work allowance, as the general tendency of the companies will not be towards increasing employment. Companies will lay off more workers if the employment supports are not extended or removed.
While there is pandemic uncertainty, we would not expect a positive trend in the overall employment trend as new hires will not be strong. Unemployment among the youth continues to remain at very high levels. However, as long as the government supports employment, the unemployment rate will point to relatively low rates, as "practically non-working people will be included in employment". It would be more appropriate to take into account the difference or broad unemployment in terms of the actual situation of employment in terms of current conditions.