Turkey - Labor Force Employment

Turkey: Labor Force Employment

Mnemonic LBE.ITUR
Unit Ths. #, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted
Monthly 0 %
Data Dec 2022 31,573
Nov 2022 31,574

Series Information

Source Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat)
Release Labor Force Statistics
Frequency Monthly
Start Date 1/31/2005
End Date 12/31/2022

Turkey: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Labor Force Dec 2022 35,206 35,150 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Labor Force Employment Dec 2022 31,573 31,574 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Unemployment Dec 2022 3,633 3,576 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Unemployment Rate Dec 2022 10.3 10.2 %, SA Monthly
Total Employment 2022 Q3 31,160 30,765 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Total Employment Non-Ag 2022 Q3 25,898 25,781 # Ths., NSA Quarterly
Agriculture Employment Dec 2021 4,301 4,843 Ths. #, NSA Monthly

Release Information

The household labour force survey has been regularly been applied since 1988. Household labour force survey is the main data source on the labour market situation of country from the supply side and gives information on economic activity, occupation, status in employment and hours worked for employed persons.  It also gives information on the duration of unemployment and occupation sought by the unemployed.


  • Framework: IESS FR 2019/1700
  • Industry classification: NACE Rev. 2
  • Measurements:
    • Thousands of persons (Ths. #)
    • Percent (%)
  • Adjustments:
    • Seasonally adjusted (SA)
    • Not seasonally adjusted (NSA)
  • Native frequencies and start dates:
    • Monthly - Uniformly 2005m1
    • Quarterly - 2014Q1 or 2021Q1
    • Annual - Uniformly 2020


  • Pre-IESS - 2004 to 2020 ("_20")
  • ICLS 1982 and NACE Rev. 2 - 2005 to 2020
  • 2000 to 2013 ("_13")
  • 2000 to 2004 ("04")
  • ICLS 1982, NACE Rev. 1.1, semiannual - 1988 to 2014


Non-institutional civilian population:
Comprises all the population, the residents of schools, dormitories, kindergartens, rest homes for elderly persons, special hospitals, military barracks and recreation quarters for officers.
Non-institutional working age population
Indicates the population 15 years of age and over within the non-institutional civilian population.
Labour force
Comprises all employed persons and all unemployed.
Labour force participation rate
Indicates the ratio of the labour force to non-institutional working age population.
Persons employed
All the non-institutional working age population who are included in the “persons at work” and “not at work” described below.
Persons at work
Persons economically active during the reference period for at least one hour as a regular employee, casual employee, employer, self-employed or unpaid family worker.
Persons not at work
All self-employed and employers who have a job but not at work in the reference week for various reasons are considered as employed. Regular employees with a job who did not work during the reference period for various reasons are considered as employed only if they have an assurance of return to work within a period of 3 months or if they receive at least 50% of their wage or salary from their employer during their absence. Unpaid family workers and casual workers, who did not work in the reference week even 1 hour, are not considered as employed. The members of producer cooperatives and apprentices or stagers who are working to gain any kind of benefit (income in cash or in kind, social security, travelling cost, pocket money etc.) are considered to be employed.
Persons unemployed
The unemployed comprises all persons 15 years of age and over who were not employed (neither worked for profit, payment in kind or family gain at any job even for one hour, who have no job attachment) during the reference period who have used at least one channels for seeking a job during the last three months and were available to start work within two weeks. Persons who have already found a job and will start to work within 3 months, or established his/her own job but were waiting to complete necessary documents to start work were also considered to be unemployed if they were available to start work within two weeks.
Persons not in labour force
Includes persons who are neither unemployed nor employed and 15 years of age and over. The persons not in labour force consist of sub-groups.

Persons not in labour force:

Not seeking a job but available to start a job
These are the persons who are not seeking a job for different reasons but are available for work within two weeks. 
Discouraged workers
These are the persons who are available to start a job but are not seeking a job because of not knowing where to search, or who believe no job is available for him/her in the region. 
These are the persons who are not seeking a job for reasons such as being seasonal workers, busy with household chores, students, property income earners, retired, or disabled, but available to start a job. 
Seasonal workers
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of being seasonal workers. 
Household chores
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of doing household chores. 
In education or training
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of attending regular school or training. 
Retired persons
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of being retired. 
Disabled, old or ill
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of being disabled, ill or elderly. 
Persons not seeking a job or who are not available for work because of family or personal reasons or other reasons.


Both the employed and the persons who were employed before are classified by their economic activity, occupation, employment status and educational status. All economic activities are coded at the four digit level according to the International Standard of Economic Activities in the European Union (Nace Rev.1.1) But, results are given by nine or 14 main groups for Turkey, urban and rural, and by for main sectors for regional breakdown. The industry classifications include:  

  • Agriculture 
    • A, B Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing 
  • Industry 
    • C Mining and quarrying 
    • D Manufacturing  
    • E Electricity, gas and water supply 
  • Construction 
    • F Construction 
  • Services 
    • G, H Wholesale and retail trade , hotels and restaurants 
    • I Transportation, communication and storage 
    • J, K Financial intermediation ,real estate, rental and business services 
    • L-Q Community services, social and personal activities.


All occupations are coded at the four-digit level according to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO, 88) and results are given by nine main groups:

  1. Legislators, senior officials and managers 
  2. Professionals 
  3. Technicians and market sales workers 
  4. Clerks 
  5. Service workers and shop and market sales workers 
  6. Skilled agricultural and fishery workers 
  7. Craft and related trade workers 
  8. Plant and machine operators and assemblers 
  9. Elementary occupations

Employment status

All persons who are currently employed and persons employed in the past are classified according to International Classification on Status in Employment (ICSE, 1993) and results are also published by this classification.

  1. Regular employee 
  2. Casual employee 
  3. Employer 
  4. Self employed 
  5. Unpaid family worker

Educational status

The educational attainment level for all persons six years old and over is coded according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED, 1997). They are shown in the following levels:

  1. Illiterate
  2. Less than high school, literate without any diploma, primary school, primary education, or junior high school or vocational school at high school level
  3. High school and vocational school at high school level
  4. Higher education, institutions of higher education, university, master, or doctorate

International and regional directive

Household labour force survey, where international standards have been followed in terms of definitions and concepts from the beginning of its first application, norms and standards of the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) and International Labour Organization (ILO) are being used.  

Data coverage

Persons covered: All private households who are living in the territory of Republic of Turkey are covered. Residents of schools, dormitories, kinder-gartens, rest homes for elderly persons, special hospitals, military barracks and recreation quarters for officers are not covered.

Geographical area covered: All settlements in Turkey have been covered in sample selection.

  • Urban areas: Settlements with a population of 20,001 and more.
  • Rural areas: Settlements with a population of 20,000 or less.

Account for regulation

Method of sampling of the household labour Force Survey is applied to sample households selected by a 2 stage stratified clustered probability sample involving 8 sub samples. Addresses which are the primary sampling unit are visited four times during the 18 months period. Monthly sample size is 13,000 households. Weighting is a method used to obtain parameters from the data set resulting from sampling so as to represent the universe. These parameters include design weights, adjustments for non-response, external distribution checks and ultimate multiplying factor. Reaching accurate estimates depends on a step-by-step and careful process of weighting. All the weighting factors mentioned above were used in Household Labour Force Survey.  

Characteristics of basic data sources

Data were collected from the households which were selected by defined sampling method. Statistical unit used is household in labour force surveys. Demographic information (age, sex, educational status, relationship to household head) is asked to all members of the household. But, questions on labour force status are asked for persons 15 years old and over.

Data collection method

All the information was collected by interviewers on a face-to-face basis with the help of portable computers (computer assisted personal interviewing).  

Compilation practices

The questionnaire was designed considering many factors together. The international standards determined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) were taken into consideration and adapted to the Turkish circumstances. Modifications on questionnaire were made in order to reflect possible changes occurred in time in the labour force status in Turkey and to produce internationally comparable data.In this way norm and standards of Eurostat have also been followed.

Reference and application period

The first week of each month starting with Monday and ending with Sunday was used as the reference period. The field application starts after the reference week and is completed within 15 days.  

Data availability

Survey has been applied since 1988. Between 1988-1999 term the survey was applied annually using the last weeks of April and October as reference week. Since 2000 it has been applied on monthly basis.   Results of the survey were announced on quarterly basis between 2000-2003 periods. Starting with January 2005, Household Labour Force Survey results are announced in every month based on the moving averages of three months. The weighting coefficients are calculated based on the mid-month population projections and results are called with the name of the middle month in order to simplify expression. In this new series, the Press Releases of February, May, August and November refer to the results of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter respectively which has been published since 2000

Geographical detail

Results of the survey were published by Turkey, urban and rural between 1988-1999 terms. The estimations have been given again for Turkey, urban and rural areas on quarterly basis and annually for seven geographical regions and nine province centers (Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Samsun) besides the Turkey, urban and rural between 2000-2003. The quarterly results of the survey are provided for Turkey, urban and rural level as in previous applications and annual results are supplied for Classification of Region Units Level 1 (in urban/rural distinction) and for whole by Level 2 since 2004.


Since 2007 results of the survey are announced in the 45th day following the end of the related term (3-months). Results of the survey are announced to the public in the 15th day of each month (in case of weekend following working day) at 10.00 o'clock in the morning with a press release and at the same time disseminated through the web site both in TR and EN.

Seasonal adjustment

Survey results were not seasonally adjusted for the current situation.


Related to the household labour force survey results two publications are published each year.  Household Labour Force Statistics is the annual publication includes yearly and quarterly results Household Labour Force Statistics, Classification of Statistical Region Units publication includes regional results on statistical region units Level 1 and Level.