Published on Jobs and Development

Istanbul Conference (Part II) – The Complexities of the Turkish Labor Market

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  • Ümit Efendioğlu is the Director of ILO Turkey.
  • Gokce Uysal is a Researcher at the Betam Bahcesehir Unviersity Center for Economic and Social Research, Turkey.
  • David Grubb is a Senior Economist at the Employment Analysis and Policies Division of the OECD Labour and Social Affairs Directorate.

Governments worldwide are increasingly exploring policies that will remove the constraints or disincentives for individuals to have access to jobs. One set of interventions are active labor market programs, which focus on employment services, training, and subsidies to employers to stimulate hiring. Governments are also looking at alternative activation strategies, which essentially reward those who search for jobs with benefit payments and support services. At a conference in Istanbul April 30-May 1 this year (sponsored by IZA/OECD/WB), about 120 researchers and policy makers from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa gathered to debate these policies.

In Part II of a three-part series, Ümit Efendioğlu, Director for the ILO Office in Turkey, emphasizes that job activation measures and active labor market policies must account for the dual nature of Turkey’s economy – with almost 50 percent of the population working in the informal, rather than the formal, economy. Gokce Uysal, Researcher, Betam Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research, stresses the need for more empirical evidence on which types of labor policies work in various contexts – along with the need for a better understanding of Turkish labor demand. David Grubb, Senior Economist in the Employment Analysis and Policies Division of the OECD Labour and Social Affairs Directorate, highlights Turkey’s progress on meeting the technical requirements of job activation policies.

This post was first published on the Jobs Knowledge Platform.


Gokce Uysal

Betam Bahcesehir University, Turkey

David Grubb

OECD Labour and Social Affairs Directorate

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