* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Unemployment rate, 2022:

The average for 2022 based on 176 countries was 7.45 percent. The highest value was in South Africa: 29.81 percent and the lowest value was in Qatar: 0.09 percent. The indicator is available from 1991 to 2022. Below is a chart for all countries where data are available.

Measure: percent; Source: The World Bank
Select indicator
* indicates monthly or quarterly data series


Countries Unemployment rate, 2022 Global rank Available data
South Africa 29.81 1 1991 - 2022
Djibouti 27.93 2 1991 - 2022
Palestine 25.72 3 1991 - 2022
Swaziland 24.39 4 1991 - 2022
R. of Congo 21.8 5 1991 - 2022
Gabon 21.47 6 1991 - 2022
Namibia 20.85 7 1991 - 2022
Botswana 20.68 8 1991 - 2022
Libya 20.68 9 1991 - 2022
Somalia 20.05 10 1991 - 2022
St. Vincent & ... 18.98 11 1991 - 2022
Sudan 18.73 12 1991 - 2022
Lesotho 18.04 13 1991 - 2022
Jordan 17.87 14 1991 - 2022
Saint Lucia 17.36 15 1991 - 2022
Tunisia 16.12 16 1991 - 2022
Iraq 15.55 17 1991 - 2022
Montenegro 15.4 18 1991 - 2022
S.T.&Principe 15.32 19 1991 - 2022
North Macedonia 15.08 20 1991 - 2022
Haiti 14.84 21 1991 - 2022
Bosnia & Herz. 14.05 22 1991 - 2022
Yemen 13.59 23 1991 - 2022
Cape Verde 13.57 24 1991 - 2022
Rwanda 13.01 25 1991 - 2022
Spain 13.01 26 1991 - 2022
Lebanon 12.64 27 1991 - 2022
Armenia 12.56 28 1991 - 2022
Guyana 12.36 29 1991 - 2022
N. Caledonia 12.27 30 1991 - 2022
Greece 12.16 31 1991 - 2022
Albania 11.81 32 1991 - 2022
Algeria 11.55 33 1991 - 2022
Costa Rica 11.45 34 1991 - 2022
Georgia 11.31 35 1991 - 2022
Nepal 11.12 36 1991 - 2022
Mauritania 11.11 37 1991 - 2022
Iran 10.96 38 1991 - 2022
Colombia 10.73 39 1991 - 2022
Morocco 10.49 40 1991 - 2022
Samoa 10.31 41 1991 - 2022
Angola 10.21 42 1991 - 2022
Bahamas 10.06 43 1991 - 2022
Turkey 10.03 44 1991 - 2022
Belize 9.69 45 1991 - 2022
Syria 9.61 46 1991 - 2022
Serbia 9.47 47 1991 - 2022
Brazil 9.46 48 1991 - 2022
Comoros 8.81 49 1991 - 2022
Panama 8.79 50 1991 - 2022
Eq. Guinea 8.69 51 1991 - 2022
Suriname 8.64 52 1991 - 2022
Mongolia 8.25 53 1991 - 2022
Barbados 8.2 54 1991 - 2022
Italy 8.09 55 1991 - 2022
Zimbabwe 7.95 56 1991 - 2022
Uruguay 7.84 57 1991 - 2022
Tajikistan 7.83 58 1991 - 2022
Chile 7.78 59 1991 - 2022
France 7.45 60 1991 - 2022
Sweden 7.36 61 1991 - 2022
India 7.33 62 1991 - 2022
Mauritius 7.23 63 1991 - 2022
Brunei 7.2 64 1991 - 2022
Domin. Rep. 7.12 65 1991 - 2022
Honduras 7.1 66 1991 - 2022
Cyprus 6.98 67 1991 - 2022
Egypt 6.96 68 1991 - 2022
Paraguay 6.89 69 1991 - 2022
Finland 6.8 70 1991 - 2022
Croatia 6.75 71 1991 - 2022
Sri Lanka 6.7 72 1991 - 2022
Eritrea 6.62 73 1991 - 2022
Argentina 6.49 74 1991 - 2022
Latvia 6.43 75 1991 - 2022
Pakistan 6.42 76 1991 - 2022
C.A. Republic 6.36 77 1991 - 2022
Zambia 6.13 78 1991 - 2022
Slovakia 6.09 79 1991 - 2022
Jamaica 6.05 80 1991 - 2022
Uzbekistan 6.01 81 1991 - 2022
Puerto Rico 5.97 82 1991 - 2022
Estonia 5.85 83 1991 - 2022
Portugal 5.78 84 1991 - 2022
Nigeria 5.76 85 1991 - 2022
Guinea 5.75 86 1991 - 2022
Saudi Arabia 5.64 87 1991 - 2022
Belgium 5.63 88 1991 - 2022
Malawi 5.61 89 1991 - 2022
Lithuania 5.57 90 1991 - 2022
Nicaragua 5.57 91 1991 - 2022
Kenya 5.5 92 1991 - 2022
Azerbaijan 5.46 93 1991 - 2022
Romania 5.44 94 1991 - 2022
Venezuela 5.33 95 1991 - 2022
Canada 5.21 96 1991 - 2022
Burkina Faso 5.18 97 1991 - 2022
Hong Kong 5.06 98 1991 - 2022
Turkmenistan 5.02 99 1991 - 2022
Kazakhstan 5.01 100 1991 - 2022
DR Congo 4.99 101 1991 - 2022
China 4.89 102 1991 - 2022
Maldives 4.88 103 1991 - 2022
Gambia 4.78 104 1991 - 2022
Austria 4.71 105 1991 - 2022
Bangladesh 4.7 106 1991 - 2022
Luxembourg 4.7 107 1991 - 2022
Kyrgyzstan 4.57 108 1991 - 2022
Bolivia 4.42 109 1991 - 2022
Bulgaria 4.4 110 1991 - 2022
Ireland 4.36 111 1991 - 2022
Fiji 4.33 112 1991 - 2022
Uganda 4.28 113 1991 - 2022
Switzerland 4.2 114 1991 - 2022
Slovenia 4.18 115 1991 - 2022
Belarus 4.17 116 1991 - 2022
Denmark 4.17 117 1991 - 2022
Togo 4.07 118 1991 - 2022
Ethiopia 4.02 119 1991 - 2022
Cameroon 4 120 1991 - 2022
Tr.&Tobago 3.98 121 1991 - 2022
Ecuador 3.95 122 1991 - 2022
Mozambique 3.91 123 1991 - 2022
Ghana 3.87 124 1991 - 2022
El Salvador 3.82 125 1991 - 2022
Iceland 3.81 126 1991 - 2022
Malaysia 3.73 127 1991 - 2022
Australia 3.66 128 1991 - 2022
Peru 3.66 129 1991 - 2022
Liberia 3.63 130 1991 - 2022
Sierra Leone 3.63 131 1991 - 2022
USA 3.61 132 1991 - 2022
Bhutan 3.6 133 1991 - 2022
G.-Bissau 3.58 134 1991 - 2022
UK 3.57 135 1991 - 2022
Indonesia 3.55 136 1991 - 2022
Netherlands 3.54 137 1991 - 2022
Israel 3.48 138 1991 - 2022
Senegal 3.43 139 1991 - 2022
Hungary 3.42 140 1991 - 2022
Mexico 3.31 141 1991 - 2022
New Zealand 3.25 142 1991 - 2022
Norway 3.17 143 1991 - 2022
Tonga 3.01 144 1991 - 2022
Germany 2.99 145 1991 - 2022
North Korea 2.96 146 1991 - 2022
Malta 2.81 147 1991 - 2022
South Korea 2.79 148 1991 - 2022
Mali 2.76 149 1991 - 2022
Singapore 2.76 150 1991 - 2022
Tanzania 2.76 151 1991 - 2022
Papua N.G. 2.75 152 1991 - 2022
UA Emirates 2.75 153 1991 - 2022
Ivory Coast 2.64 154 1991 - 2022
Japan 2.64 155 1991 - 2022
Laos 2.63 156 1991 - 2022
Macao 2.63 157 1991 - 2022
Poland 2.6 158 1991 - 2022
Guatemala 2.57 159 1991 - 2022
Kuwait 2.48 160 1991 - 2022
Czechia 2.37 161 1991 - 2022
Oman 2.33 162 1991 - 2022
Moldova 2.28 163 1991 - 2022
Philippines 2.24 164 1991 - 2022
Madagascar 2.14 165 1991 - 2022
Vanuatu 2.09 166 1991 - 2022
Vietnam 1.92 167 1991 - 2022
Benin 1.65 168 1991 - 2022
Solomon Isl. 1.54 169 1991 - 2022
Chad 1.41 170 1991 - 2022
Bahrain 1.4 171 1991 - 2022
Burundi 1.02 172 1991 - 2022
Thailand 0.86 173 1991 - 2022
Niger 0.53 174 1991 - 2022
Cambodia 0.36 175 1991 - 2022
Qatar 0.09 176 1991 - 2022



Definition: Unemployment refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment.
What factors explain the differences in the unemployment rate around the world.

The unemployment rate varies considerably across countries around the world for variety of reasons. We can group these reasons in two categories related to the two broad types of unemployment: cyclical and natural. The cyclical unemployment is related to the current conditions in the economy. When the economy goes into recession, the unemployment rate increases as businesses shed labor. Conversely, the unemployment rate declines as the economy expands and businesses start to hire people. It usually takes about six months to a year of economic expansion before the unemployment rate starts to decline. Similarly, the unemployment rate starts to increase only after a few months of output contraction. So, in any particular year the unemployment rate in a given country may be high (or low) if the country is experiencing a recession (or an expansion).

The natural unemployment rate consists of two types of unemployment: frictional and structural and is not related to the business cycle. The frictional unemployment consists of people who are between jobs as they move from one city to another, enter the labor market after they complete their education, or due to other personal reasons. The structural unemployment is related to the structural shifts in the economy. As some sectors decline, e.g. the textile production in the US, and other sectors expand, e.g. health care, people who were employed in the textile sector lose their jobs and have to enter the health care sector. This requires new education and a new set of skills which take time to acquire. While these people are in the process of transitioning from one sector to another, we call them structurally unemployed.

So, some countries around the world might not be in a recession and still have very high unemployment rates because their natural rate of unemployment is high. In these countries, it may not be easy to move to where the jobs are because of language or culture barriers, employers might be unwilling to hire people because of restrictive labor regulations or other reasons. Then, even if the economy is expanding, the number of people who want to work but have no jobs remains high. You can look on the chart and try to guess what explains the level of unemployment in the various countries.

One more thing to point out. The unemployed are people who are actively seeking work but cannot find a job. Some of them, after looking unsuccessfully for work for some time, eventually give up and drop out of the labor force. We call these people discouraged workers. They are not counted as unemployed but are clearly excluded from the labor market.


29.81
27.93
25.72
24.39
21.80
21.47
20.85
20.68
20.68
20.05
18.98
18.73
18.04
17.87
17.36
16.12
15.55
15.40
15.32
15.08
14.84
14.05
13.59
13.57
13.01
13.01
12.64
12.56
12.36
12.27
12.16
11.81
11.55
11.45
11.31
11.12
11.11
10.96
10.73
10.49
10.31
10.21
10.06
10.03
9.69
9.61
9.47
9.46
8.81
8.79
8.69
8.64
8.25
8.20
8.09
7.95
7.84
7.83
7.78
7.45
7.36
7.33
7.23
7.20
7.12
7.10
6.98
6.96
6.89
6.80
6.75
6.70
6.62
6.49
6.43
6.42
6.36
6.13
6.09
6.05
6.01
5.97
5.85
5.78
5.76
5.75
5.64
5.63
5.61
5.57
5.57
5.50
5.46
5.44
5.33
5.21
5.18
5.06
5.02
5.01
4.99
4.89
4.88
4.78
4.71
4.70
4.70
4.57
4.42
4.40
4.36
4.33
4.28
4.20
4.18
4.17
4.17
4.07
4.02
4.00
3.98
3.95
3.91
3.87
3.82
3.81
3.73
3.66
3.66
3.63
3.63
3.61
3.60
3.58
3.57
3.55
3.54
3.48
3.43
3.42
3.31
3.25
3.17
3.01
2.99
2.96
2.81
2.79
2.76
2.76
2.76
2.75
2.75
2.64
2.64
2.63
2.63
2.60
2.57
2.48
2.37
2.33
2.28
2.24
2.14
2.09
1.92
1.65
1.54
1.41
1.40
1.02
0.86
0.53
0.36
0.09
0
7.5
14.9
22.4
29.81
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