TurkStat paints pretty picture despite latest surge in Turkey’s unemployment rate

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The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) has painted a pretty picture with its recent data  on youth employment in Turkey, while the latest data from the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) have revealed that the number of registered unemployed in the country surged by 246,000 in April.

TurkStat, attached to the Ministry of Treasury and Finance since 2018, on Monday said in its report titled “Youth in Statistics, 2020” that in 2020 77.1 percent of young people in Turkey were satisfied with their jobs, while 48.1 percent of them were satisfied with the income from the jobs, based on the results of a life satisfaction survey.

The numbers came at a time when the country saw an average of 11,533 unemployed people registering with İŞKUR daily in April, causing the number of registered unemployed climb above 2.9 million, a 9.2 percent increase compared to the previous month.

İŞKUR data also showed that out of 276,256 people in Turkey who applied for unemployment benefits in the first three months of 2021, only 82,955 of them were approved for the monthly payments, ranging from TL 1,420 ($170) to TL 2,840 ($340).

A report by the opposition SOL (Left) Party released in March showed that 728,000 people have become unemployed in Turkey in the last year, mainly due to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak on March 11, 2020.

Turkey’s financial troubles have increased since the country was hit by the pandemic, with a sudden surge in the number of suicides and closed businesses.

April 2021 data from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) showed the hunger line, which refers to the amount a family of four has to spend on basic food expenses, to be TL 2,374 ($284). The poverty line, which also includes the cost of rent and utilities for a family of four was TL 7,732 ($927).

Meanwhile, the net minimum wage announced for 2021 in Turkey is TL 2,826 ($338), which is the lowest figure in US dollars for a monthly net minimum wage in the last 11 years.

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