North Korea Economic Indicators
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North Korea Unemployment rate

(percent, source: The World Bank)


North Korea Unemployment rate: For that indicator, The World Bank provides data for North Korea from 1991 to 2012. The average value for North Korea during that period was 4.26 percent with a minumum of 2.8 percent in 1994 and a maximum of 5.1 percent in 1998.


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The unemployment rate in North Korea and other countries is defined as the number of unemployed people as percent of the labor force. The labor force includes the people who are either employed or unemployed, i.e. who don't have a job but are actively looking for one. The labor force does not include people who are not looking for work, children, and the retired.

The unemployment rate seldom declines below 4-5 percent even during boom times. There are always people who move between different sectors of the economy or between cities. When the economy goes into recession, then unemployment can reach much higher numbers, sometimes even in the double digits.

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World Bank definition: Unemployment refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment.