According to Turkstat, the Turkish employment rate was 44.9 and the unemployment rate was 10.1 in December 2012. I would expect the unemployment rate to be 1 - employment rate. How are those numbers calculated so that they won't sum up to 1?

  • Total newbie in how these figures are calculated. But are those figures a % of the population? Or the capable population? Are students considered? The retired? The only way I can see it totalling 1 is if it's a statistic of able-bodied persons that can work. – Anonymous Mar 20 '13 at 16:48

The employment rate is the percentage of people in the country who are currently employed compared to the total population of the country.

Unemployment rate is the percentage of people looking for work compared to the total number of people currently in work. This number can increase in 2 ways. If the number of people looking for work increases and/or if the number of people employed decreases. The opposite is the case for the unemployment rate to decrease.

That is why it is important to look at the details behind the numbers to understand what is really happening to the unemployment rate.


"Unemployed" are people who are actively searching for a job. A lot of people are not employed, but are not "unemployed" because they're not looking for a job. Being infants, housewives, retired, students, etc.

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    Also "discouraged workers" who were looking for work but have dropped out of the workforce because they've found it too difficult to get work – JAGAnalyst Mar 20 '13 at 17:47
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    This becomes extremely important when comparing the unemployment rates of different countries, as they might use subtle but important differences in how they define "unemployed". – Lagerbaer Mar 21 '13 at 3:16
  • Please explain the downvote, whoever it was – littleadv Mar 21 '13 at 17:27
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    Another relevant factor is part-time employees who may be counted pro rata for employment statistics, but not included in the unemployment statistics. – MSalters Mar 25 '13 at 12:17

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