Turkish agency denies reports claiming trainees, apprentices included in unemployment data
The Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) has denied some recent reports that have claimed unemployment data was not a reflection of the actual figures and on-the-job trainees and apprentices had been counted as employed people.
Since the Social Security Institution (SGK) had shown trainees and apprentices under insurance coverage against work accidents and vocational disease risks in its records in 2017, a misunderstanding had come out about their inclusion in direct employment data, TÜİK said in statement on Feb. 16.
“As it was denoted in a public statement, which was released on Nov. 27, 2017, since trainees and apprentices are offered insurance coverage against any work accident risks during their terms on the job, they are not seen as employees. Therefore, these people are not included in TÜİK’s employment figures,” the institute added.
Only paid-trainees and apprentices can be taken under the category of employed, according to international standards, TÜİK said, adding that such category’s share in total employment was no larger than 0.4 percent or 0.8 percent in Turkey.
Turkey’s unemployment rate stood at 10.3 percent in the October - December 2017 period, down from 12.1 percent a year earlier and unchanged from a month earlier, data from TÜİK showed on Feb. 15.
The youth unemployment rate, including people aged 15-24, was 19.3 percent, with a 3.3 percentage point decrease compared to the same period of 2016.
The unemployment rate for people aged 15-64 was 10.5 percent, with a 1.8 percentage point decrease, according to TÜİK data. The data has shown the number of unemployed people aged 15 years and over—3.27 million last November—decreased by 440,000 year-on-year.
The number of employed people rose by nearly 1.5 million in the same period, moving the employment rate to 47.3 percent with a 1.5 percentage point annual increase.
The research unit of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), DİSK-AR, claimed the actual number of unemployed people hit six million, adding that the unemployment rate in wider definition was 17.6 percent.
According to DİSK-AR report, which was released on Feb. 15, a significant rise in the number of apprentices and trainees played a key role in employment surge.
The report said the number of insured workers rose by nearly 1.9 million in the mentioned one-year period, according to SGK data.
“A comparison between TÜİK data and SGK data has shown the number of insured apprentices and trainees rose to 1.1 million last November by a 261 percent year-on-year increase,” read the DİSK-AR report.
Without the inclusion of this group, the unemployment rate would have been much higher than the official rate, according to the report.