Unemployment by Country 2020

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The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of unemployed workers in the total labor force. The unemployment rate includes workers who currently do not work, although they can do so.

The unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, meaning it responds (rises and falls) to changing economic conditions rather than predicts them. When the economy grows at a healthy rate, the job market is plentiful, and the unemployment rate will fall. When the economy is experiencing a recession or turbulent times, the unemployment rate tends to rise due to a lack of jobs.

There are three types of unemployment: frictional, structural, and seasonal. Frictional unemployment refers to temporary unemployment during the period when someone is searching for a job. Structural unemployment is the mismatch between workers' skills or locations and job requirements. Seasonal unemployment is caused by seasonal changes in a population's activity, such as tourism or agriculture.

Unemployment has many adverse effects. These include:

  • Increased depression and other mental health problems
  • Increased crime rates
  • Overall lower economic productivity and consumption
  • Lower rates of volunteerism
  • Erosion of skills

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses six different ways to calculate the unemployment rate. The most widely used and cited unemployment statistic is U-3, which defines unemployed people as willing and able to work and who have actively searched for work in the past four weeks. Those who would like to work but are unable, such as those with disabilities, are not considered unemployed. As defined by the U-3 statistic, the number of unemployed people is divided by the number of people in the labor force and multiplied by 100.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8% before the COVID-19 pandemic (February 2020). By May 2020, the unemployment rate may have been as high as 16%. By September 2020, the unemployment rate decreased to 7.9%.

The International Labor Organization's World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 reported that the world's unemployment rate dropped below 5% in 2018, the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis.

The ten countries with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  1. Cambodia (0.30%)
  2. Qatar (0.60%)
  3. Thailand (0.70%)
  4. Belarus (1.0%)
  5. Benin (1.0%)
  6. Gibraltar (1.0%)
  7. Tonga (1.1%)
  8. Isle of Man (1.1%)
  9. Laos (1.5%)
  10. United Arab Emirates (1.60%)

The International Labor Organization's report found, however, that many of the 3.3 billion people employed throughout the world are working under poor conditions that do no offer economic security, decent work opportunities, and lack of material well-being. This being said, a low unemployment rate doesn't necessarily mean more people are living in favorable, sustainable conditions.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest rates of unemployment:

  1. Burkina Faso (77.00%)
  2. Syria (50.00%)
  3. Senegal (48.00%)
  4. Haiti (40.60%)
  5. Kenya (40.00%)
  6. Djibouti (40.00%)
  7. Republic Of The Congo (36.00%)
  8. Marshall Islands (36.00%)
  9. Namibia (34.00%)
  10. Kiribati (30.60%)

Unemployment by Country 2020

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Unemployment by Country 2020

Country Unemployment Rate Population 2020
Burkina Faso77.00%20,903,273
Syria50.00%17,500,658
Senegal48.00%16,743,927
Haiti40.60%11,402,528
Djibouti40.00%988,000
Kenya40.00%53,771,296
Marshall Islands36.00%59,190
Republic Of The Congo36.00%5,518,087
Namibia34.00%2,540,905
Kiribati30.60%119,449
Libya30.00%6,871,292
American Samoa29.80%55,191
Lesotho28.10%2,142,249
Swaziland28.00%1,160,164
Gabon28.00%2,225,734
South Africa27.60%59,308,690
Yemen27.00%29,825,964
Venezuela26.40%28,435,940
North Korea25.60%25,778,816
Mozambique24.50%31,255,435
Grenada24.00%112,523
Afghanistan23.90%38,928,346
Macedonia23.40%2,083,374
Nauru23.00%10,824
Dominica23.00%71,986
Greece22.30%10,423,054
French Polynesia21.80%280,908
Bosnia And Herzegovina20.50%3,280,819
Malawi20.40%19,129,952
Saint Lucia20.00%183,627
Botswana20.00%2,351,627
Sudan19.60%43,849,260
Armenia18.90%2,963,243
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines18.80%110,940
Jordan18.50%10,203,134
Ethiopia17.50%114,963,588
Spain17.10%46,754,778
Micronesia16.20%115,023
Montenegro16.10%628,066
Serbia16.00%8,737,371
Iraq16.00%40,222,493
Tunisia15.90%11,818,619
Zambia15.00%18,383,955
New Caledonia14.70%285,498
Albania14.00%2,877,797
Nigeria13.40%206,139,589
Cook Islands13.10%17,564
Curacao13.00%164,093
Croatia12.40%4,105,267
Iran12.40%83,992,949
Sao Tome And Principe12.20%219,159
Niue12.00%1,626
Sint Maarten12.00%42,876
Ghana11.90%31,072,940
Egypt11.90%102,334,404
Cyprus11.80%1,207,359
Brazil11.80%212,559,417
Mauritania11.70%4,649,658
Algeria11.70%43,851,044
Puerto Rico11.50%2,860,853
Georgia11.50%3,989,167
Zimbabwe11.30%14,862,924
Northern Mariana Islands11.20%57,559
Turkey11.20%84,339,067
Guyana11.10%786,552
Italy11.10%60,461,826
Antigua And Barbuda11.00%97,929
Turkmenistan11.00%6,031,200
Barbados10.50%287,375
Colombia10.50%50,882,891
United States Virgin Islands10.40%104,425
Jamaica10.40%2,961,167
Tanzania10.30%59,734,218
Belize10.10%397,628
Turks And Caicos Islands10.00%38,717
Bahamas10.00%393,244
Morocco10.00%36,910,560
Portugal9.70%10,196,709
Ukraine9.50%43,733,762
France9.50%65,273,511
Ivory Coast9.40%26,378,274
Uganda9.40%45,741,007
Greenland9.10%56,770
Suriname9.10%586,632
Sierra Leone9.10%7,976,983
Cape Verde9.00%555,987
Latvia9.00%1,886,198
Wallis And Futuna8.80%11,239
India8.80%1,380,004,385
Saint Pierre And Miquelon8.70%5,794
Equatorial Guinea8.60%1,402,985
Eritrea8.60%3,546,421
Finland8.60%5,540,720
Costa Rica8.10%5,094,118
Slovakia8.10%5,459,642
Mali8.10%20,250,833
Argentina8.10%45,195,774
Anguilla8.00%15,003
San Marino8.00%33,931
Kyrgyzstan7.40%6,524,195
Mongolia7.30%3,278,290
Uruguay7.30%3,473,730
Belgium7.30%11,589,623
Bermuda7.00%62,278
Lithuania7.00%2,722,289
El Salvador7.00%6,486,205
Chile7.00%19,116,201
Aruba6.90%106,766
Brunei6.90%437,479
Mauritius6.90%1,271,768
Central African Republic6.90%4,829,767
Togo6.90%8,278,724
Peru6.70%32,971,854
Slovenia6.60%2,078,938
Sweden6.60%10,099,265
Angola6.60%32,866,272
Comoros6.50%869,601
Nicaragua6.50%6,624,554
Paraguay6.50%7,132,538
Canada6.50%37,742,154
Ireland6.40%4,937,786
Bulgaria6.20%6,948,445
Luxembourg6.10%625,978
Azerbaijan6.00%10,139,177
Pakistan6.00%220,892,340
Estonia5.90%1,326,535
Honduras5.90%9,904,607
Denmark5.80%5,792,202
Saudi Arabia5.80%34,813,871
Philippines5.70%109,581,078
Montserrat5.60%4,992
Australia5.60%25,499,884
Indonesia5.60%273,523,615
Fiji5.50%896,445
Panama5.50%4,314,767
Austria5.50%9,006,398
Dominican Republic5.50%10,847,910
Russia5.50%145,934,462
Romania5.30%19,237,691
Kazakhstan5.00%18,776,707
New Zealand4.90%4,822,233
Uzbekistan4.90%33,469,203
Netherlands4.80%17,134,872
Poland4.80%37,846,611
Ecuador4.60%17,643,054
Saint Kitts And Nevis4.50%53,199
Guam4.50%168,775
Trinidad And Tobago4.50%1,399,488
Sri Lanka4.50%21,413,249
Malta4.40%441,543
Timor Leste4.40%1,318,445
Hungary4.40%9,660,351
United Kingdom4.40%67,886,011
United States4.40%331,002,651
Israel4.30%8,655,535
Cameroon4.30%26,545,863
Seychelles4.10%98,347
Moldova4.10%4,033,963
Cayman Islands4.00%65,722
Norway4.00%5,421,241
Bolivia4.00%11,673,021
Myanmar4.00%54,409,800
Bangladesh4.00%164,689,383
China3.90%1,439,323,776
Bahrain3.80%1,701,575
Taiwan3.80%23,816,775
Germany3.80%83,783,942
Andorra3.70%77,265
South Korea3.70%51,269,185
Mexico3.60%128,932,753
Malaysia3.40%32,365,999
Bhutan3.20%771,608
Hong Kong3.10%7,496,981
Switzerland3.00%8,654,622
Nepal3.00%29,136,808
British Virgin Islands2.90%30,231
Maldives2.90%540,544
Japan2.90%126,476,461
Iceland2.80%341,243
Liberia2.80%5,057,681
Czech Republic2.80%10,708,981
Guinea2.80%13,132,795
Rwanda2.70%12,952,218
Niger2.60%24,206,644
Papua New Guinea2.50%8,947,024
Liechtenstein2.40%38,128
Tajikistan2.40%9,537,645
Guatemala2.30%17,915,568
Faroe Islands2.20%48,863
Singapore2.20%5,850,342
Cuba2.20%11,326,616
Vietnam2.20%97,338,579
Kuwait2.10%4,270,571
Madagascar2.10%27,691,018
Monaco2.00%39,242
Macau2.00%649,335
Palau1.70%18,094
Vanuatu1.70%307,145
United Arab Emirates1.60%9,890,402
Laos1.50%7,275,560
Isle Of Man1.10%85,033
Tonga1.10%105,695
Falkland Islands1.00%3,480
Gibraltar1.00%33,691
Belarus1.00%9,449,323
Benin1.00%12,123,200
Thailand0.70%69,799,978
Qatar0.60%2,881,053
Cambodia0.30%16,718,965