The coronavirus pandemic has fueled unemployment across the world and Turkey, whose economy was already ailing, is not an exception. But when it comes to measurement, the figures vary, though none of them is wrong per se, depending on the technical definitions of unemployment. According to official figures released last week, Turkey’s unemployment rate improved slightly to 12.8% in April despite the raging pandemic, while alternative calculations show that more than 50% were left out of work.

The calculation method of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) is based on the “narrow” definition of unemployment, which is the most widely used across the world. Accordingly, unemployment surveys make a distinction between those who describe themselves as jobless, depending on whether they have actively looked for a job. Those who have not looked for a job in the past four weeks are not considered part of the labor force and thus not counted as jobless.

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Written by Mustafa Sönmez