Unemployment by Country 2021

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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 2021

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Unemployment by Country 2021

Country Unemployment Rate Population 2021
Burkina Faso77.00%21,497,096
Syria50.00%18,275,702
Senegal48.00%17,196,301
Haiti40.60%11,541,685
Djibouti40.00%1,002,187
Kenya40.00%54,985,698
Marshall Islands36.00%59,610
Republic Of The Congo36.00%5,657,013
Namibia34.00%2,587,344
Kiribati30.60%121,392
Libya30.00%6,958,532
American Samoa29.80%55,100
Lesotho28.10%2,159,079
Swaziland28.00%1,172,362
Gabon28.00%2,278,825
South Africa27.60%60,041,994
Yemen27.00%30,490,640
Venezuela26.40%28,704,954
North Korea25.60%25,887,041
Mozambique24.50%32,163,047
Grenada24.00%113,021
Afghanistan23.90%39,835,428
Macedonia23.40%2,082,658
Nauru23.00%10,876
Dominica23.00%72,167
Greece22.30%10,370,744
French Polynesia21.80%282,530
Bosnia And Herzegovina20.50%3,263,466
Malawi20.40%19,647,684
Saint Lucia20.00%184,400
Botswana20.00%2,397,241
Sudan19.60%44,909,353
Armenia18.90%2,968,127
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines18.80%111,263
Jordan18.50%10,269,021
Ethiopia17.50%117,876,227
Spain17.10%46,745,216
Micronesia16.20%116,254
Montenegro16.10%628,053
Serbia16.00%8,697,550
Iraq16.00%41,179,350
Tunisia15.90%11,935,766
Zambia15.00%18,920,651
New Caledonia14.70%288,218
Albania14.00%2,872,933
Nigeria13.40%211,400,708
Cook Islands13.10%17,565
Curacao13.00%164,798
Croatia12.40%4,081,651
Iran12.40%85,028,759
Sao Tome And Principe12.20%223,368
Niue12.00%1,619
Sint Maarten12.00%43,412
Ghana11.90%31,732,129
Egypt11.90%104,258,327
Cyprus11.80%1,215,584
Brazil11.80%213,993,437
Mauritania11.70%4,775,119
Algeria11.70%44,616,624
Puerto Rico11.50%2,828,255
Georgia11.50%3,979,765
Zimbabwe11.30%15,092,171
Northern Mariana Islands11.20%57,917
Turkey11.20%85,042,738
Guyana11.10%790,326
Italy11.10%60,367,477
Antigua And Barbuda11.00%98,731
Turkmenistan11.00%6,117,924
Barbados10.50%287,711
Colombia10.50%51,265,844
United States Virgin Islands10.40%104,226
Jamaica10.40%2,973,463
Tanzania10.30%61,498,437
Belize10.10%404,914
Turks And Caicos Islands10.00%39,231
Bahamas10.00%396,913
Morocco10.00%37,344,795
Portugal9.70%10,167,925
Ukraine9.50%43,466,819
France9.50%65,426,179
Ivory Coast9.40%27,053,629
Uganda9.40%47,123,531
Greenland9.10%56,877
Suriname9.10%591,800
Sierra Leone9.10%8,141,343
Cape Verde9.00%561,898
Latvia9.00%1,866,942
Wallis And Futuna8.80%11,094
India8.80%1,393,409,038
Saint Pierre And Miquelon8.70%5,766
Equatorial Guinea8.60%1,449,896
Eritrea8.60%3,601,467
Finland8.60%5,548,360
Costa Rica8.10%5,139,052
Slovakia8.10%5,460,721
Mali8.10%20,855,735
Argentina8.10%45,605,826
Anguilla8.00%15,117
San Marino8.00%34,017
Kyrgyzstan7.40%6,628,356
Mongolia7.30%3,329,289
Uruguay7.30%3,485,151
Belgium7.30%11,632,326
Bermuda7.00%62,090
Lithuania7.00%2,689,862
El Salvador7.00%6,518,499
Chile7.00%19,212,361
Aruba6.90%107,204
Brunei6.90%441,532
Mauritius6.90%1,273,433
Central African Republic6.90%4,919,981
Togo6.90%8,478,250
Peru6.70%33,359,418
Slovenia6.60%2,078,724
Sweden6.60%10,160,169
Angola6.60%33,933,610
Comoros6.50%888,451
Nicaragua6.50%6,702,385
Paraguay6.50%7,219,638
Canada6.50%38,067,903
Ireland6.40%4,982,907
Bulgaria6.20%6,896,663
Luxembourg6.10%634,814
Azerbaijan6.00%10,223,342
Pakistan6.00%225,199,937
Estonia5.90%1,325,185
Honduras5.90%10,062,991
Denmark5.80%5,813,298
Saudi Arabia5.80%35,340,683
Philippines5.70%111,046,913
Montserrat5.60%4,977
Australia5.60%25,788,215
Indonesia5.60%276,361,783
Fiji5.50%902,906
Panama5.50%4,381,579
Austria5.50%9,043,070
Dominican Republic5.50%10,953,703
Russia5.50%145,912,025
Romania5.30%19,127,774
Kazakhstan5.00%18,994,962
New Zealand4.90%4,860,643
Uzbekistan4.90%33,935,763
Netherlands4.80%17,173,099
Poland4.80%37,797,005
Ecuador4.60%17,888,475
Saint Kitts And Nevis4.50%53,544
Guam4.50%170,179
Trinidad And Tobago4.50%1,403,375
Sri Lanka4.50%21,497,310
Malta4.40%442,784
Timor Leste4.40%1,343,873
Hungary4.40%9,634,164
United Kingdom4.40%68,207,116
United States4.40%332,915,073
Israel4.30%8,789,774
Cameroon4.30%27,224,265
Seychelles4.10%98,908
Moldova4.10%4,024,019
Cayman Islands4.00%66,497
Norway4.00%5,465,630
Bolivia4.00%11,832,940
Myanmar4.00%54,806,012
Bangladesh4.00%166,303,498
China3.90%1,444,216,107
Bahrain3.80%1,748,296
Taiwan3.80%23,855,010
Germany3.80%83,900,473
Andorra3.70%77,355
South Korea3.70%51,305,186
Mexico3.60%130,262,216
Malaysia3.40%32,776,194
Bhutan3.20%779,898
Hong Kong3.10%7,552,810
Switzerland3.00%8,715,494
Nepal3.00%29,674,920
British Virgin Islands2.90%30,421
Maldives2.90%543,617
Japan2.90%126,050,804
Iceland2.80%343,353
Liberia2.80%5,180,203
Czech Republic2.80%10,724,555
Guinea2.80%13,497,244
Rwanda2.70%13,276,513
Niger2.60%25,130,817
Papua New Guinea2.50%9,119,010
Liechtenstein2.40%38,250
Tajikistan2.40%9,749,627
Guatemala2.30%18,249,860
Faroe Islands2.20%49,049
Singapore2.20%5,896,686
Cuba2.20%11,317,505
Vietnam2.20%98,168,833
Kuwait2.10%4,328,550
Madagascar2.10%28,427,328
Monaco2.00%39,511
Macau2.00%658,394
Palau1.70%18,169
Vanuatu1.70%314,464
United Arab Emirates1.60%9,991,089
Laos1.50%7,379,358
Isle Of Man1.10%85,410
Tonga1.10%106,760
Falkland Islands1.00%3,533
Gibraltar1.00%33,698
Belarus1.00%9,442,862
Benin1.00%12,451,040
Thailand0.70%69,950,850
Qatar0.60%2,930,528
Cambodia0.30%16,946,438

Unemployment by Country 2021