Despite government's assertions on boosting economy, unemployment in Turkey continues to rise

BİRGÜN DAİLY 16.08.2017 11:47
Despite government's assertions on boosting economy, unemployment in Turkey continues to rise
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SEMİH GÜVEN @semihguvenn

According to the results of the ‘Household Labor Force Study in May 2017’ released by Turkey’s Statistical Institution (TÜİK), the government’s assertions on launching a process in the name of ‘employment mobilization’ have ended up with an increase in unemployment, let alone a decrease in it. Compared to the unemployment rate of the same period last year, unemployment in Turkey increased by 0.8% in May this year, with 330K more people losing their jobs. And, the estimated total number of unemployed in Turkey has reached 6 million.

Analyzing the latest data of TÜİK, representatives of Research Institute of Turkey’s Confederation of Progressive Unions (DİSK-Ar) revealed that the rate of increase in employment has slowed down compared to last year and that the incentives to boost employment have not brought the aimed results. While around 621K people did indeed get employed within the past year, 330K more people got unemployed. The official number of the unemployed increased to 3 million 225 thousand. However, the estimated number all unemployed, which is calculated through taking into consideration a broader definition of unemployment, stands at nearly 6 million.

In the report of DİSK-Ar, it is emphasized that unemployment of the youth and the women, as well as, unemployment in sectors aside from non-agricultural occupations, has increased significantly.

In the month of May this year, unemployment of the young population between the ages of 15-24 has increased by 2.4 percentage point and reached 19.8%. The increase in the unemployment of young women, on the other hand, has been even more dramatic. With a 4.7 percentage point increase compared to last year, it has climbed up to 25%, meaning 1 in every 4 young women – between ages 15-24 - in Turkey has become unemployed.

In addition, despite all assertions and incentives of the government towards creating an ‘employment boost’, the increase in employment fell significantly behind the increase observed in years 2015 and 2016.

When we taken into calculation those who work only in short-term seasonal jobs and who have lost hope and stopped searching for employment, the total number of the unemployed in the country is revealed to be around 6 million.

DİSK-Ar has also shared recommendations for increasing the employment rate with following statements:

The weekly full-time work hours should be lowered to 37.5 hours; and, the maximum over-time allowed yearly should be dropped from 270 to 90 hours.

Each worker should be given the right to have a minimum of 1 month long paid leave.

Unsafe employment conditions should be confronted and ended.

Workers’ right for joining and being active in labor unions should be protected.

Discriminative practices against women in work places should be addressed and eliminated.

Front-page article of BirGün published on 16 August 2017, Wednesday with the headline of 'We are country to be envied but only if we had had jobs!'


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