OPPORTUNITIES FOR SYRIAN YOUTH IN ISTANBUL
A Labor Market Assessment
This assessment is informed by desk research using data from various state institutions (the Turkish Statistical Institute, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Turkish Labor Agency), from private institutions (Kariyer.net, Istanbul Chamber of Industry, etc.), and from extensive field research effort. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected among six subjects: stakeholders, young Syrians, businesses (including companies with Syrian ownership), employment agencies, municipalities, and institutions that provide training to young Syrians. One of the main contributions of this assessment is a detailed face-to-face survey of 1,003 young Syrians, which provides extensive data on the labor market outcomes of young Syrian refugees, such as working conditions, unemployment, discrimination, and plans.
In Istanbul, there are approximately 3 million Turkish citizens and 140,000 young Syrians between the ages of 18 and 29. Unfortunately, there is no data on the Labor Force Participation Rates of young Syrians, and the survey conducted here does not collect data on labor force participation. However, 1,003 young Syrians in this age group who are in the labor force (i.e. employed or unemployed) did participate in our survey to inform this assessment. Women constitute 18.6 percent of the survey sample; this percentage is consistent with the female Labor Force Participation Rate in Syria in 2011, which stood at 13.1 percent. The survey data also revealed that the unemployment rate stands at 48.2 percent among Syrian youth in Istanbul, and it is higher among young women.