The unemployment rate in Turkey in March, which was 13.1% in the same month of the previous year, decreased by 1.6 points to 11.5%. When compared to the previous month, it is observed that the adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.4 points. While the unemployment rate among the young population was 21.2%; The rate of idle labor force, which is a broadly defined measure of unemployment, rose from 22.1% to 22.7% compared to the previous month.
When we look at the comparable periods, March 2021 – March 2022, it is seen that there was an increase of 1.3 points in the labor force participation rate between the relevant periods, with adjusted data. The workforce, which was 32 million 519 thousand people in the similar period of 2021, became 33 million 851 thousand people in March 2022. The labor force participation rate increased from 51.3% to 52.6%. Looking at the seasonally adjusted data; While the employment rate increased by 1.9 points compared to the same period of the previous year and became 46.5%, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 59 thousand people compared to the previous month.
Labor statistics show an increase in the headline unemployment rate compared to the previous month. As the number of unemployed increased by 153 thousand, the indicators for March point to a more negative outlook when compared to the previous month. Considering the entire working population aged 15 and over, the employment level is still around 30 million and below 50%, and there is no significant progress in the labor force participation rate, especially due to the lack of women’s participation in the labor force.
In terms of criteria such as time-bound workers, those who want to work, those who have been looking for a job for a long time, the rate of idle labor force is 22.7% and is followed as a more explanatory indicator compared to the headline unemployment rate of 11.5%. Those who lose hope of finding a job and stop looking for a job fall outside the definition of the labor force and are not included in the narrow unemployment rate. However, considering that there is a high potential workforce here, it creates a significant deficit in terms of the employment market. Under these conditions, we state that unemployment rates are proportionally and structurally high.