5.5 million unemployed in Turkey, main opposition deputy claims

5.5 million unemployed in Turkey, main opposition deputy claims

5.5 million unemployed in Turkey, main opposition deputy claims


The number of unemployed people in Turkey is 5.5 million, much higher than the official figures, as 2.5 million people are not included in the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) studies because they have already lost hope in finding a job, according to a deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

CHP deputy Hurşit Güneş also predicted in a written statement on Nov. 18 that the number would exceed 6 million by the end of 2015.

“The unemployment data revealed by TÜİK yesterday [Nov. 17] shows that joblessness is not decreasing, it is on the rise,” Güneş said.

TÜİK’s report said the official number of jobless Turkish citizens was 2.98 million in August, at 10.1 percent, a rise of two digits since February. However, Güneş claimed that the rate was much higher.

“When the figure is stripped of seasonal effects, such as agriculture, construction and tourism businesses, the real rate is 10.4 percent,” he added.

Turkey’s unemployment rate hovered at around 10 percent between 2003 and 2010 despite rapid GDP growth figures, Güneş stressed.

“We should also know that as the growth rate falls, unemployment will also accelerate,” he said, citing that the government’s gloomy expectations included in its recently announced Medium Term Plan.

The CHP deputy claimed that the official rate would hit 11 percent next year, mainly due to poor growth, as the real number of people who are ready to work but cannot be employed will reach 6 million.

“This would be enough for Turkey to take the lead among OECD countries in terms of both the highest numbers and the highest rate of unemployed people,” Güneş said.

Turkey’s economic growth slowed to 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2014, down from 4.7 percent in the first quarter.

The number of unemployed people aged 15 and over surged to 2.94 million in August, an increase of 77,000 from the previous month. The jobless rate was 8.9 percent for men and 12.7 percent for women. The youth unemployment rate was announced as 18.9 percent.

Unemployment was also on the agenda of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu when he addressed his party deputies at Parliament on Nov. 18.

“Unemployment is the source of crime, [leading to] an increase in drug use and dismay,” he said.
The CHP has prepared a draft code for 1 million seasonal workers in the country, Kılıçdaroğlu added, calling on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to back the move.