Which Industries Create Most Jobs in Turkey

The day before I posted this article Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek had been complaining that state is growing in Turkey by giving the number of people employed in public utilities. Surprisingly he had been criticizing employment policies, and consequently the government while changes in the Cabinet is on the agenda. But then we saw tweeting about ongoing street clashes in Ferguson indicating that things got back to normal (#DirenFerguson).

One should ask which industries have created most jobs in Turkey recently. Surely and evidenced by the comments of a Cabinet member, the state has been one of the top employers in Turkey providing itself a sustainable power which is also a policy mostly run by less developed countries. Monthly job creation by industries data compiled by the Central Bank of Turkey shows significant trends in Turkey’s labor market between Jan 2009 and Jan 2014. Materialized, the chart below indicates contribution of each industry to new jobs.

Turkey Contribution to Employment by Sectors

Firstly, despite the remarkable growth in the market, poor employment performance in mining industry shows why Erdogan compared the Soma disaster to mining accidents in 19th century Britain and nonchalantly observed that accidents are “what happens in coal mining”.

As expected, the role the construction played in creating jobs is absolutely nonignorable. Concerns around prosperity bubble are rising in Turkey which would ultimately lead the labor market to collapse. Since Jan 2009, the employment in construction has grown by 65% adding 655k new jobs.

More than 20% of the workforce is employed in agriculture in Turkey proving the country has a lot of challenges to face to be able to reach its high-tech export targets. Relatively, South Korea only employs 7% of its workforce in agriculture according to the World Bank data.

Finally, and most importantly, Turkey’s civil service is continuing its steady expansion making the Turkish public sector’s weight on the country’s economy is quite considerable when compared to other nations. According to Mehmet Simsek, Turkish public sector accounts for 3.37 million people as of the end of June. Tragically securing a government job in Turkey is not an easy task thanks to the high level of politicization.

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