World Bank hails Turkish government for employment policies

World Bank hails Turkish government for employment policies

World Bank hails Turkish government for employment policies

Development Minister Yılmaz speaks at a meeting to announce World Bank’s ‘Good Jobs in Turkey’ report. AA photo

The Turkish government has embarked on several policies that support the observed favorable labor market developments, in particular a better integration of youth and women into formal work, according to World Bank.

“The rapid growth of the GDP and employment in the post-crisis period, coupled with upscaling and formalization of employment in the labor market and the increased employment elasticity of growth, present a very favorable picture of the employment situation in Turkey,” the World Bank said in a report titled “Good Jobs in Turkey,” made public yesterday.

Between 2007 and 2012, the average annual employment growth in Turkey was 3.3 percent, reflecting the creation of over 4 million new jobs, the report noted. The unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in 2012 and labor force participation and employment rates increased in the post-crisis period, particularly among women.

More women participation

“The Fifth 10-year Development Plan continues to prioritize the activation of women and youth,” the report said. “The objective is to achieve a labor force with the participation of women at 34.9 percent by 2018. Planned labor market policies move from protecting jobs to protecting workers, which empirically favors easier formal job entry for women and youth.”

The World Bank said the most significant change during the 1998-2011 period was the flow of labor from agriculture to other sectors as the employment share of agriculture fell from 41.5 in 1998 to 25.5 percent in 2011, or by 38.6 percent.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the government’s efforts, however, the fundamentals of the country’s economy need to be strengthened to enable higher growth and employment, the World Bank said.

“This new World Bank report explores if the jobs created in Turkey are indeed of higher productivity and are accessible to women, men, youth and older workers alike,” Rebekka Grun, lead author of the report, was quoted as saying on the World Bank’s website.

“The Bank continues to support policymakers in Turkey to sustain the observed positive trends of more jobs being created in more productive firms, and more educated women and youth having greater access to quality formal jobs. Policies that can help include continuous improvements in the business environment and a labor market policy that better balances the protection of workers and the incentives for job creation,” said Grun.

Turkish Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz said yesterday the government would pursue “positive discrimination” policies to increase the number of women in the workforce.

“The number of working women is rapidly increasing,” Yılmaz said at a meeting in Ankara. “We have provided employers with incentives to encourage them to hire more women.”

Yılmaz noted the Fifth 10-year Development Plan aims to solve the structural problems of Turkey’s job market.