Home > Uncategorized > Unemployment, Europe, regional data

Unemployment, Europe, regional data


Eurostat has published regional data on unemployment (map). For several reasons I include Turkey in Europe, hence the title of this blog. In the rest of Europe, there is some bewilderment why these Turks (often smart, well-educated people) vote for an unenlightened autocrat like Erdogan. The map gives a clue: except for the Kurdish area of Turkey, unemployment is at least not disastrous and sometimes even pretty low. Turkey does much better than either Greece, Italy or Spain. At this moment, Greek emigration to Turkey is a more realistic idea than Turkish emigration to the rest of Europe.

A commenter on this blog once stated that many people who in Turkey are counted as ‘self employed’ are in fact unemployed and not included in the unemployment data. That is probably true. But the differences between the disastrous situation in Greece and (especially: southern) Italy and Spain and Turkey as well as regional differences within Turkey are consistent with the idea that the unemployment situation in large swathes of Turkey is much more favorable than in the rest of Southern Europe. When we look at employment instead of unemployment, it however strikes the eye that especially the employment rate of Turkish women is much lower than the employment rate of Greek, Italian and Spanish women, though the Turkish rate is rising at a considerable rate. As far as I know, the unemployment rate in the west Balkan (Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia) is totally disastrous, which percentages which sometimes are as high as 30%.

Mind, by the way, low unemployment in the north of Italy, which seems to be part of a low unemployment region consisting of large parts of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and, Hungary and even a small part of Italy. Borders are not all important – which also means that ‘structural reforms’ like cutting pension and wages and dismantling health care are not the way forward when it comes to getting unemployment down. East-Germany seems to leave a twenty-five year period of disastrous, 15%+ unemployment. This is however not so much caused by an increase of unemployment but mainly by a decrease of the labour force.

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