Turkey’s unemployment rate climbed to 13.4 percent in the three months to July even after the government barred companies from firing workers.
The jobless rate increased from 13 percent in the same period a year ago and from 12.9 percent in the April to June period, figures published by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Thursday showed.
The number of people employed declined by almost 2 million to 42.4 percent of the workforce compared with May to July 2019. The remainder were either unemployed or not looking for a job. Many workers in Turkey have been put on unpaid leave by their employers or are on government-sponsored short working weeks.
Non-agricultural unemployment rose to 15.9 percent from 15.3 percent a year earlier.
The so-called labour participation rate increased to 49 percent from 47.6 percent in April to June, as more Turks registered as looking for a job. The rate had stood at 53.3 percent in May to July last year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan extended a ban on companies laying off workers last week, a measure initially taken after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Firms in Turkey will be barred from firing workers for another two months, Erdoğan said in a decree published in the Official Gazette. The measure was due to expire on Sept. 17.