An unprecedented collapse in employment endured after the lockdown was lifted in June and July, driven by workers not formally on payrolls, government data showed on Thursday.
A record 1.4 million were too discouraged to search for work, up nearly threefold from a year ago. Of those who had jobs last month, nearly half were "very afraid" of losing them by winter, a poll by Istanbul Economics Research found.
Can Selcuki, general manager of the consultancy, said that likely reflects workers' suspicion that they will be laid off "the minute" the layoff ban is lifted.
He added that support for Erdogan's ruling alliance dipped to 44 percent in a poll this month, from 46 percent in August after a summer bounce.
Turkey, like several other countries, banned layoffs in April when it also closed most businesses, shut borders and intercity travel and adopted partial stay-at-home orders.
Large gatherings were curbed, leaving Mehmet Coskun, a wedding drummer without social security, only a third of his usual gigs. "
I don't know what to do when my loan payments come along," he said. "Perhaps I can sell water or clean buildings."
Such lost jobs in the service, tourism, and construction sectors are hurting Turkey's poorest households the most, according to the World Bank.
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The bank, however, predicts that the poverty rate will rise less than forecast in the Turkish study, to about 12 percent from 10 percent, contained in part by the state aid.