Covid-19 Induced Uncertainty and Labor Markets: Risks and Insights During the Early Stages of the Pandemic in Turkey

Peksan S. , Delen M.

in: The Covid-19 Pandemic: Global Risks and Uncertainties, Nazan Susam, Editor, Istanbul University, İstanbul, pp.161-191, 2020

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Publisher: Istanbul University
  • City: İstanbul
  • Page Numbers: pp.161-191
  • Editors: Nazan Susam, Editor


The global spread of COVID-19, presenting both economic and social shocks that cause severe impacts on labor markets, has led to a crisis worldwide. These impacts differ among countries depending on the structural features of their labor markets and the scope of the measures taken. Based on the preliminary literature on COVID-19, we assess that the negative consequences of the current crisis are particularly harsh for disadvantaged and vulnerable labor groups, informal workers, low-income occupations and the youth. And hence, we claim that the unequal character of the risks posed by the pandemic is mainly due to inequalities associated with the segmented structure of the labor markets and also sharpens its long-existing negative features. We discuss that the major risks of the Turkish labor market are the high level of informal workers, the disadvantaged position of young people and the domination of the service sector. These structural characteristics of the Turkish labor market are likely to deepen the pandemic induced crisis in the long run.