* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Labor force, million people, 2022:

The average for 2022 based on 47 countries was 44.84 million people. The highest value was in China: 781.81 million people and the lowest value was in Brunei: 0.23 million people. The indicator is available from 1991 to 2023. Below is a chart for all countries where data are available.

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


Countries Labor force, 2022 Global rank Available data
China 781.81 1 1991 - 2023
India 554.15 2 1991 - 2023
Indonesia 138.1 3 1991 - 2023
Pakistan 78.86 4 1991 - 2023
Bangladesh 73.86 5 1991 - 2023
Japan 69.11 6 1991 - 2023
Vietnam 55.69 7 1991 - 2023
Philippines 47.87 8 1991 - 2023
Thailand 40.91 9 1991 - 2023
South Korea 29.31 10 1991 - 2023
Iran 28.64 11 1991 - 2023
Burma 22.53 12 1991 - 2023
Malaysia 17.13 13 1991 - 2023
Saudi Arabia 16.62 14 1991 - 2023
North Korea 15.77 15 1991 - 2023
Uzbekistan 13.97 16 1991 - 2023
Iraq 11.36 17 1991 - 2023
Kazakhstan 9.48 18 1991 - 2023
Cambodia 9.06 19 1991 - 2023
Afghanistan 8.8 20 1991 - 2023
Sri Lanka 8.77 21 1991 - 2023
Nepal 8.74 22 1991 - 2023
Yemen 6.66 23 1991 - 2023
UA Emirates 6.59 24 1991 - 2023
Syria 5.82 25 1991 - 2023
Azerbaijan 5.43 26 1991 - 2023
Israel 4.45 27 1991 - 2023
Hong Kong 3.76 28 1991 - 2023
Singapore 3.54 29 1991 - 2023
Laos 3.11 30 1991 - 2023
Jordan 3.01 31 1991 - 2023
Kyrgyzstan 3 32 1991 - 2023
Tajikistan 2.61 33 1991 - 2023
Kuwait 2.42 34 1991 - 2023
Oman 2.26 35 1991 - 2023
Turkmenistan 2.12 36 1991 - 2023
Qatar 2.01 37 1991 - 2023
Georgia 1.84 38 1991 - 2023
Lebanon 1.81 39 1991 - 2023
Mongolia 1.39 40 1991 - 2023
Palestine 1.39 41 1991 - 2022
Armenia 1.37 42 1991 - 2023
Bahrain 0.84 43 1991 - 2023
Bhutan 0.43 44 1991 - 2023
Macao 0.4 45 1991 - 2023
Maldives 0.26 46 1991 - 2023
Brunei 0.23 47 1991 - 2023



Definition: Labor force comprises people ages 15 and older who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period. It includes people who are currently employed and people who are unemployed but seeking work as well as first-time job-seekers. Not everyone who works is included, however. Unpaid workers, family workers, and students are often omitted, and some countries do not count members of the armed forces. Labor force size tends to vary during the year as seasonal workers enter and leave.
What makes up the labor force?

The labor force constitutes the proportion of a country’s pool of male and female workers aged 15 years and above who are employed and those currently unemployed but searching for a job. However, it does not include discouraged workers, retirees, and stay-at-home parents. This implies that the totality of the labor force in any country consists of employed and unemployed workers. While employed workers are the set of people who work either through paid or self-employment, the unemployed category consists of those without work, or those currently available for work, and those seeking employment.

Why does the labor force vary across countries?

Differences in the labor force across countries in the world are influenced by several factors. Traditionally, factors such as population size, statutory entry and retirement ages, official school-leaving age, number of working hours and working days, and labor market structure account for the disparity in the labor force of any country. Meanwhile, the existence of seasonal jobs also increases the rate of variation in the labor force from time to time. Countries with high seasonal employment opportunities may tend to have higher labor capacity at one time than other nations.

Furthermore, the economic conditions of countries also determine the number of employed and unemployed workers in the labor force. This is because during a recessionary era, industries tend to lay off workers, which raises the level of unemployment relative to the total population. Meanwhile, periods of an economic boom come with job opportunities that absorb workers.

In addition, geopolitical risks such as wars, conflicts, and terrorism also contribute to variations in the labor force among countries. For instance, countries with high geopolitical uncertainties are likely to have a small labor force since most employed workers may migrate to another nation for their safety, whereas those that are less confronted by geopolitical upheavals may have a large workforce.

If you are interested in global labor regulations and policies, you can visit the International Labour Organization page.



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781.81
554.15
138.10
78.86
73.86
69.11
55.69
47.87
40.91
29.31
28.64
22.53
17.13
16.62
15.77
13.97
11.36
9.48
9.06
8.80
8.77
8.74
6.66
6.59
5.82
5.43
4.45
3.76
3.54
3.11
3.01
3.00
2.61
2.42
2.26
2.12
2.01
1.84
1.81
1.39
1.39
1.37
0.84
0.43
0.40
0.26
0.23
0
195.5
390.9
586.4
781.81


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