Thursday, January 31, 2019
Turkey’s population has trebled in 60 years but the rise in its labour force is partly driven by more women taking jobs
- With local elections due in March, Ankara will try to ease a downturn that left the jobless rate at 11.6% in October, up from 9.6% in April.
- An Islamist government could try to alleviate rising unemployment by encouraging women to stay at home.
- Trouble could be in store from the higher jobless rate among the 15-24 age group (21.6%), nearly one-fifth of the working-age population.
- One-quarter of this age group is neither in employment nor education; the unemployment rate among young women was 27.2% in October.
Turkey’s population has been growing year after year, reaching 80 million in 2017, up from 27 million in 1960. Every year, more 15-year-olds join the working-age population, and need to be found jobs. The economy has grown for most of the 2000-17 period, often at a rapid rate. Because of consistently high population growth, the economy needs to maintain that rapid rate to keep living standards rising and unemployment at bay.
More women are joining the labour force too; but at an employment rate of just 29.7% (October 2018), they are still an underused resource.
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