Mar 19, 2014 - 0 Comments - Data -

Labor Force Statistics by Gender

Nalan Yırtmaç

Women and men do not experience unemployment under similar conditions. In order to investigate this, it is necessary to differentiate the data with respect to gender.

When we study the rates of unemployment according to gender for the 2005-2013 period, we observe that the unemployment rate among women is systematically higher than that of men.  In the Unemployment Rate by Gender table below, one thing that deserves attention is the fact that when the overall unemployment rate is rising from 2005 to the first quarter of 2009, unemployment rate among women is higher than among men. Then, during the global economic crisis, in 2009 and during the first quarter of 2010, the two unemployment rates converge.

Table 1

To better understand how women and men differentially experience unemployment, it might be useful to look at the number of people unemployed (Unemployed by Gender table). In the first quarter of 2009, the number of unemployed has reached a peak with 3 million 743 thousand and 970 thousand of them were female.  A comparison between the first two tables, enables us to make an interesting observation. As the economic crisis began to make its effects felt in the third quarter of 2008, we observe that the female unemployment rate follows a trend parallel to that of the male as well as the overall rates of unemployment. In contrast, in the same period, the increase in the number of unemployed women is much less compared to the increase in the number of unemployed men. To make sense of this phenomena, we need to introduce the concept “labor force”.

Table 3

As we have noted elsewhere, when calculating the rate of unemployment, we divide the number of unemployed with the total labor force. When making sense of the phenomena discussed above, we have to take into account the changes in both the number of unemployed (numerator) and the size of the labor force (denominator). If the unemployment rate is rising without a significant change in the number of unemployed, we may need to consider the possibility that there is a decline in the labor force participation.

In our third table titled Labor Force Participation Rate by Gender, we can discern rather starkly the difference between the female and male labor force participation rates (the ratio of those who are in the labor force to the overall eligible adult [ages 15 and above] population). While the overall labor force participation rate is around 50%, this rate is 70% for men and 30% for women.

A significant portion of the rise in the labor force participation rate throughout the entire period (from 45% in the first quarter of 2005 to 51.5% in the third quarter of 2013) comes from the rise in female labor force (from 21.8% in the first quarter of 2005 to 31.4% in the third quarter of 2013). In numbers, during the same period the number of men in the labor force has gone up from 16 million 237 thousand to 19 million 192 thousand and the number of women in the labor force has gone up from 5 million 357 thousand to 8 million 852 thousand.

Table 3


Unemployment dataset is downloaded from the website of Turkish Statistical Institute, “Labour Force Statistics”  link.

Statistical Table: ”Non-Institutional Population by Labour Force Status”

Image: Nalan Yırtmaç

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