* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Unemployment rate, 2022:

The average for 2022 based on 179 countries was 7.25 percent. The highest value was in South Africa: 28.84 percent and the lowest value was in Qatar: 0.13 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 28.84 1 1991 - 2022
Djibouti 26.67 2 1991 - 2022
Palestine 24.42 3 1991 - 2022
Botswana 23.62 4 1991 - 2022
Swaziland 22.64 5 1991 - 2022
Gabon 20.61 6 1991 - 2022
R. of Congo 20.48 7 1991 - 2022
Namibia 19.99 8 1991 - 2022
St. Vincent & ... 19.55 9 1991 - 2022
Libya 19.3 10 1991 - 2022
Somalia 19.29 11 1991 - 2022
Jordan 19.19 12 1991 - 2022
Tunisia 17.76 13 1991 - 2022
Yemen 17.61 14 1991 - 2022
Sudan 17.58 15 1991 - 2022
Lesotho 16.75 16 1991 - 2022
Saint Lucia 15.77 17 1991 - 2022
Iraq 15.32 18 1991 - 2022
Montenegro 15.25 19 1991 - 2022
Rwanda 15.08 20 1991 - 2022
Haiti 14.78 21 1991 - 2022
Angola 14.48 22 1991 - 2022
North Macedonia 14.43 23 1991 - 2022
S.T.&Principe 14.35 24 1991 - 2022
Afghanistan 14.1 25 1991 - 2022
Syria 13.81 26 1991 - 2022
Spain 12.92 27 1991 - 2022
Bosnia & Herz. 12.66 28 1991 - 2022
Algeria 12.49 29 1991 - 2022
Cape Verde 12.44 30 1991 - 2022
Greece 12.43 31 1991 - 2022
Guyana 12.3 32 1991 - 2022
Lebanon 11.75 33 1991 - 2022
Georgia 11.68 34 1991 - 2022
Albania 11.63 35 1991 - 2022
Costa Rica 11.32 36 1991 - 2022
N. Caledonia 11.03 37 1991 - 2022
Nepal 10.92 38 1991 - 2022
Mauritania 10.79 39 1991 - 2022
Colombia 10.55 40 1991 - 2022
Turkey 10.43 41 1991 - 2022
Bahamas 10.09 42 1991 - 2022
Samoa 10.04 43 1991 - 2022
Morocco 9.99 44 1991 - 2022
Zimbabwe 9.26 45 1991 - 2022
Brazil 9.23 46 1991 - 2022
Iran 8.81 47 1991 - 2022
Serbia 8.68 48 1991 - 2022
Belize 8.67 49 1991 - 2022
Armenia 8.59 50 1991 - 2022
Eq. Guinea 8.58 51 1991 - 2022
Barbados 8.5 52 1991 - 2022
Chile 8.25 53 1991 - 2022
Suriname 8.23 54 1991 - 2022
Panama 8.2 55 1991 - 2022
Italy 8.07 56 1991 - 2022
Uruguay 7.87 57 1991 - 2022
Sweden 7.39 58 1991 - 2022
France 7.31 59 1991 - 2022
Honduras 7 60 1991 - 2022
Tajikistan 7 61 1991 - 2022
Croatia 6.96 62 1991 - 2022
Latvia 6.81 63 1991 - 2022
Argentina 6.8 64 1991 - 2022
Cyprus 6.78 65 1991 - 2022
Paraguay 6.75 66 1991 - 2022
Finland 6.72 67 1991 - 2022
Egypt 6.4 68 1991 - 2022
C.A. Republic 6.34 69 1991 - 2022
Mauritius 6.32 70 1991 - 2022
Mongolia 6.21 71 1991 - 2022
Sri Lanka 6.18 72 1991 - 2022
Slovakia 6.14 73 1991 - 2022
Portugal 6.01 74 1991 - 2022
Puerto Rico 6 75 1991 - 2022
Eritrea 5.97 76 1991 - 2022
Lithuania 5.96 77 1991 - 2022
Bhutan 5.95 78 1991 - 2022
Comoros 5.74 79 1991 - 2022
Azerbaijan 5.65 80 1991 - 2022
Kenya 5.64 81 1991 - 2022
Venezuela 5.62 82 1991 - 2022
Romania 5.61 83 1991 - 2022
Pakistan 5.59 84 1991 - 2022
Saudi Arabia 5.59 85 1991 - 2022
Estonia 5.57 86 1991 - 2022
Belgium 5.56 87 1991 - 2022
Guinea 5.53 88 1991 - 2022
Domin. Rep. 5.5 89 1991 - 2022
Jamaica 5.5 90 1991 - 2022
Canada 5.28 91 1991 - 2022
Vanuatu 5.22 92 1991 - 2022
Malawi 5.11 93 1991 - 2022
Burkina Faso 5.07 94 1991 - 2022
Austria 4.99 95 1991 - 2022
Nicaragua 4.99 96 1991 - 2022
China 4.98 97 1991 - 2022
Kazakhstan 4.86 98 1991 - 2022
India 4.82 99 1991 - 2022
DR Congo 4.68 100 1991 - 2022
Luxembourg 4.58 101 1991 - 2022
Fiji 4.56 102 1991 - 2022
Uzbekistan 4.51 103 1991 - 2022
Ireland 4.48 104 1991 - 2022
Brunei 4.45 105 1991 - 2022
Denmark 4.43 106 1991 - 2022
Maldives 4.39 107 1991 - 2022
Zambia 4.37 108 1991 - 2022
Hong Kong 4.32 109 1991 - 2022
Switzerland 4.3 110 1991 - 2022
Bangladesh 4.27 111 1991 - 2022
Bulgaria 4.27 112 1991 - 2022
Gambia 4.26 113 1991 - 2022
Turkmenistan 4.13 114 1991 - 2022
Kyrgyzstan 4.02 115 1991 - 2022
Slovenia 4.01 116 1991 - 2022
Russia 3.87 117 1991 - 2022
Peru 3.85 118 1991 - 2022
Togo 3.85 119 1991 - 2022
Nigeria 3.83 120 1991 - 2022
Laos 3.82 121 1991 - 2022
Tr.&Tobago 3.81 122 1991 - 2022
Iceland 3.79 123 1991 - 2022
Mozambique 3.79 124 1991 - 2022
Cameroon 3.78 125 1991 - 2022
Ecuador 3.76 126 1991 - 2022
UK 3.73 127 1991 - 2022
Australia 3.7 128 1991 - 2022
Israel 3.69 129 1991 - 2022
USA 3.65 130 1991 - 2022
Malaysia 3.63 131 1991 - 2022
Hungary 3.61 132 1991 - 2022
Singapore 3.59 133 1991 - 2022
Belarus 3.57 134 1991 - 2022
Bolivia 3.55 135 1991 - 2022
Ghana 3.52 136 1991 - 2022
Netherlands 3.52 137 1991 - 2022
Indonesia 3.46 138 1991 - 2022
Ethiopia 3.41 139 1991 - 2022
New Zealand 3.3 140 1991 - 2022
Sierra Leone 3.27 141 1991 - 2022
Mexico 3.26 142 1991 - 2022
G.-Bissau 3.24 143 1991 - 2022
Norway 3.23 144 1991 - 2022
Germany 3.14 145 1991 - 2022
Mali 3.14 146 1991 - 2022
North Korea 3.07 147 1991 - 2022
Guatemala 3.05 148 1991 - 2022
Liberia 3.03 149 1991 - 2022
Senegal 3.01 150 1991 - 2022
El Salvador 3 151 1991 - 2022
UA Emirates 2.97 152 1991 - 2022
Burma 2.96 153 1991 - 2022
Uganda 2.94 154 1991 - 2022
Malta 2.92 155 1991 - 2022
Poland 2.89 156 1991 - 2022
South Korea 2.86 157 1991 - 2022
Papua N.G. 2.78 158 1991 - 2022
Japan 2.6 159 1991 - 2022
Tanzania 2.6 160 1991 - 2022
Ivory Coast 2.49 161 1991 - 2022
Tonga 2.43 162 1991 - 2022
Macao 2.41 163 1991 - 2022
Philippines 2.38 164 1991 - 2022
Czechia 2.22 165 1991 - 2022
Kuwait 2.2 166 1991 - 2022
Madagascar 1.9 167 1991 - 2022
Solomon Isl. 1.61 168 1991 - 2022
Vietnam 1.54 169 1991 - 2022
Oman 1.53 170 1991 - 2022
Benin 1.48 171 1991 - 2022
Bahrain 1.34 172 1991 - 2022
Chad 1.1 173 1991 - 2022
Thailand 0.94 174 1991 - 2022
Burundi 0.91 175 1991 - 2022
Moldova 0.91 176 1991 - 2022
Niger 0.57 177 1991 - 2022
Cambodia 0.23 178 1991 - 2022
Qatar 0.13 179 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.



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All articles

28.84
26.67
24.42
23.62
22.64
20.61
20.48
19.99
19.55
19.30
19.29
19.19
17.76
17.61
17.58
16.75
15.77
15.32
15.25
15.08
14.78
14.48
14.43
14.35
14.10
13.81
12.92
12.66
12.49
12.44
12.43
12.30
11.75
11.68
11.63
11.32
11.03
10.92
10.79
10.55
10.43
10.09
10.04
9.99
9.26
9.23
8.81
8.68
8.67
8.59
8.58
8.50
8.25
8.23
8.20
8.07
7.87
7.39
7.31
7.00
7.00
6.96
6.81
6.80
6.78
6.75
6.72
6.40
6.34
6.32
6.21
6.18
6.14
6.01
6.00
5.97
5.96
5.95
5.74
5.65
5.64
5.62
5.61
5.59
5.59
5.57
5.56
5.53
5.50
5.50
5.28
5.22
5.11
5.07
4.99
4.99
4.98
4.86
4.82
4.68
4.58
4.56
4.51
4.48
4.45
4.43
4.39
4.37
4.32
4.30
4.27
4.27
4.26
4.13
4.02
4.01
3.87
3.85
3.85
3.83
3.82
3.81
3.79
3.79
3.78
3.76
3.73
3.70
3.69
3.65
3.63
3.61
3.59
3.57
3.55
3.52
3.52
3.46
3.41
3.30
3.27
3.26
3.24
3.23
3.14
3.14
3.07
3.05
3.03
3.01
3.00
2.97
2.96
2.94
2.92
2.89
2.86
2.78
2.60
2.60
2.49
2.43
2.41
2.38
2.22
2.20
1.90
1.61
1.54
1.53
1.48
1.34
1.10
0.94
0.91
0.91
0.57
0.23
0.13
0
7.2
14.4
21.6
28.84


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