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Mismatch of labor force and industry in Konya: analysis of structural and individual factors from employer’s perspective

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2019
Fenerli, Aydın
Turkey has experienced a significant economic growth after 2002 and GDP increased along with growing sectors and increasing income. However, growth was not reflected in the labor market outcomes. This study focuses on causes of not increasing labor force participation in a rapidly growing economy of a province, aims to understand underlying reasons, and identifying areas that need to be addressed in future. The research and discussions were carried out on the case of Konya province, by focusing on industry sector from employer perspective. A field research has been carried out through in-depth interviews with employers and experts and descriptive statistics were utilized. The research question addresses the issue by understanding the factors behind not increasing labor force during the significant economic growth: How is the lack of increase in labor force participation rate explained by employers, despite growing economy and industry since 2008 in Konya province? There are three main findings, among other findings considered, in answering this question, (i) inadequacy of job value in the industry in attracting and engaging workforce (ii) shortage of labor supply in quantity and quality in meeting labor demand of industry, and (iii) existence of skill mismatch. These findings which are strongly interconnected, also correspond to demand and supply sides of the labor market as well as their interaction with each other. The case of Konya helps to understand challenges of the demand and supply sides of labor market in Turkey, which I believe could be generalized to other emerging cities in Turkey, and maybe to other cities with similar challenges in developing countries.