Unemployment, female (% of female labor force) (national estimate) - Country Ranking

Definition: Unemployment refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment. Definitions of labor force and unemployment differ by country.

Source: International Labour Organization, Key Indicators of the Labour Market database.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Djibouti 68.60 2002
2 Yemen 54.70 2010
3 Mauritania 44.00 2008
4 The Gambia 38.30 2012
5 Kiribati 34.10 2010
6 Solomon Islands 33.70 1999
7 Namibia 33.10 2013
8 Swaziland 31.20 2007
9 Greece 30.20 2014
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina 28.90 2013
11 Macedonia 28.60 2014
12 Gabon 28.50 2010
13 Lesotho 27.20 2013
14 South Africa 27.00 2014
15 Spain 25.40 2014
16 Libya 25.10 2012
17 Mozambique 24.60 2012
18 São Tomé and Principe 24.50 2006
19 Egypt 24.20 2013
20 St. Lucia 23.90 2013
21 Serbia 23.80 2013
22 Dominican Republic 23.10 2014
23 Sudan 23.00 2009
24 Tunisia 22.70 2013
25 Cabo Verde 22.60 1990
26 Syrian Arab Republic 22.50 2010
27 Belize 22.30 2012
28 Jordan 22.20 2013
29 Saudi Arabia 22.00 2014
30 Botswana 21.40 2010
31 Jamaica 20.10 2013
32 Iran 19.70 2014
33 Iraq 19.60 2008
34 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 18.60 2001
35 Equatorial Guinea 18.50 1983
36 Croatia 18.30 2014
37 Montenegro 18.20 2014
38 Armenia 18.10 2013
39 Comoros 16.90 1991
40 Afghanistan 16.50 2011
41 The Bahamas 16.30 2013
41 New Caledonia 16.30 2009
43 Algeria 16.10 2014
44 Guyana 15.20 2002
44 Albania 15.20 2014
46 Cyprus 15.10 2014
47 Zimbabwe 14.90 2014
48 Portugal 14.30 2014
49 Italy 13.80 2014
50 Slovak Republic 13.60 2014
51 Senegal 13.40 2011
52 Fiji 12.90 2007
53 Colombia 12.00 2014
53 Puerto Rico 12.00 2012
53 Côte d'Ivoire 12.00 2012
56 Costa Rica 11.90 2014
57 Turkey 11.80 2014
58 Barbados 11.40 2013
58 Mauritius 11.40 2014
60 Grenada 10.90 2001
61 United Arab Emirates 10.80 2009
62 Tajikistan 10.50 2009
62 Slovenia 10.50 2014
64 Georgia 10.40 2014
64 Morocco 10.40 2014
64 Bulgaria 10.40 2014
67 Samoa 10.30 2012
68 Mali 10.10 2010
68 Lebanon 10.10 2007
70 Greenland 9.80 2013
70 Latvia 9.80 2014
72 Kyrgyz Republic 9.70 2013
73 France 9.60 2014
73 Poland 9.60 2014
75 Dominica 9.50 2001
75 San Marino 9.50 2014
77 Ireland 9.40 2014
78 Lithuania 9.20 2014
79 Pakistan 8.90 2014
80 Antigua and Barbuda 8.80 2001
80 Myanmar 8.80 1990
82 Tuvalu 8.60 2005
83 Argentina 8.40 2014
83 Uruguay 8.40 2014
85 Haiti 8.30 1999
85 Mongolia 8.30 2013
87 Finland 8.00 2014
88 Zambia 7.90 2012
88 Paraguay 7.90 2014
88 Suriname 7.90 2013
88 Hungary 7.90 2014
88 Belgium 7.90 2014
93 Venezuela 7.80 2014
94 Sweden 7.70 2014
94 India 7.70 2014
96 Ukraine 7.50 2014
97 Tonga 7.40 2003
97 Czech Republic 7.40 2014
99 Peru 7.00 2014
100 Chile 6.90 2013
101 Estonia 6.80 2014
101 Denmark 6.80 2014
103 Malawi 6.70 2013
104 New Zealand 6.60 2014
104 Netherlands 6.60 2014
106 Sri Lanka 6.50 2014
106 Ethiopia 6.50 2013
108 Canada 6.40 2014
108 Indonesia 6.40 2013
110 Philippines 6.30 2014
111 Honduras 6.20 2011
111 Australia 6.20 2014
113 Romania 6.10 2014
113 United States 6.10 2014
115 Panama 6.00 2014
115 Azerbaijan 6.00 2013
117 St. Kitts and Nevis 5.90 2001
117 Israel 5.90 2014
117 Kazakhstan 5.90 2013
120 Cayman Islands 5.80 2013
120 Luxembourg 5.80 2014
120 United Kingdom 5.80 2014
120 Brazil 5.80 2014
124 Bangladesh 5.70 2010
124 Nigeria 5.70 2014
126 Ghana 5.50 2013
126 Nicaragua 5.50 2013
128 Timor-Leste 5.40 2010
128 Ecuador 5.40 2013
128 Malta 5.40 2014
128 Austria 5.40 2014
132 Monaco 5.20 2000
132 Vanuatu 5.20 2009
134 Cameroon 4.90 2010
134 Kuwait 4.90 2011
134 Palau 4.90 2005
137 Mexico 4.80 2014
137 Iceland 4.80 2014
137 Russia 4.80 2014
140 El Salvador 4.70 2013
140 Trinidad and Tobago 4.70 2013
140 Switzerland 4.70 2014
143 Belarus 4.60 2009
143 Germany 4.60 2014
145 Seychelles 4.50 2011
146 Liberia 4.10 2010
147 Rwanda 4.00 2012
148 Bahrain 3.90 2012
149 Tanzania 3.80 2013
150 Korea 3.50 2014
150 Cuba 3.50 2013
150 Bhutan 3.50 2014
153 Nepal 3.40 2013
154 Bolivia 3.30 2011
154 Japan 3.30 2014
156 China 3.20 2010
156 Malaysia 3.20 2014
156 Norway 3.20 2014
159 Moldova 3.10 2014
159 Liechtenstein 3.10 2013
161 Singapore 2.90 2013
161 Dem. Rep. Congo 2.90 2005
161 Guatemala 2.90 2013
161 Hong Kong SAR, China 2.90 2014
165 Uganda 2.40 2013
165 Brunei 2.40 2011
167 Sierra Leone 2.30 2004
168 Vietnam 1.70 2014
168 Burkina Faso 1.70 2006
170 Madagascar 1.60 2012
171 Qatar 1.50 2013
172 Lao PDR 1.40 2005
172 Macao SAR, China 1.40 2014
174 Papua New Guinea 1.30 2000
175 Burundi 1.10 2008
175 Benin 1.10 2010
177 Guinea 0.90 2012
178 Thailand 0.80 2014
179 Niger 0.50 2007
180 Chad 0.30 1993
180 Cambodia 0.30 2013

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Development Relevance: Unemployment and total employment are the broadest indicators of economic activity as reflected by the labor market. The International Labour Organization(ILO) defines the unemployed as members of the economically active population who are without work but available for and seeking work, including people who have lost their jobs or who have voluntarily left work. Some unemployment is unavoidable. At any time some workers are temporarily unemployed - between jobs as employers look for the right workers and workers search for better jobs. Such unemployment, often called frictional unemployment, results from the normal operation of labor markets. Changes in unemployment over time may reflect changes in the demand for and supply of labor; they may also reflect changes in reporting practices. Paradoxically, low unemployment rates can disguise substantial poverty in a country, while high unemployment rates can occur in countries with a high level of economic development and low rates of poverty. In countries without unemployment or welfare benefits people eke out a living in vulnerable employment. In countries with well-developed safety nets workers can afford to wait for suitable or desirable jobs. But high and sustained unemployment indicates serious inefficiencies in resource allocation. In many developing countries women work on farms or in other family enterprises without pay and others work in or near their homes, mixing work and family activities during the day. Labor force statistics by gender is important to monitor gender disparities in unemployment patterns. In many developed economies, women have been increasingly acquiring higher education that has led to better-compensated, longer-term careers rather than lower-skilled, shorter-term jobs. However, access to good- paying occupations for women remains unequal in many occupations and countries around the world.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on unemployment are drawn from labor force sample surveys, general household sample surveys, censuses, and official estimates, which are generally based on information from different sources and can be combined in many ways. Administrative records, such as social insurance statistics and employment office statistics, should be treated with care because of their limitations in coverage. Labor force surveys generally yield the most comprehensive data because they include groups not covered in other unemployment statistics, particularly people seeking work for the first time. These surveys generally use a definition of unemployment that follows the international recommendations more closely than that used by other sources and therefore generate statistics that are more comparable internationally. But the age group, geographic coverage, and collection methods could differ by country or change over time within a country. For detailed information, consult the original source. The ILO definition of unemployment notwithstanding, reference periods, the criteria for people considered to be seeking work, and the treatment of people temporarily laid off or seeking work for the first time vary across countries. In many developing countries it is especially difficult to measure employment and unemployment in agriculture. The timing of a survey, for example, can maximize the effects of seasonal unemployment in agriculture. And informal sector employment is difficult to quantify where informal activities are not tracked. There may be persons not currently in the labour market who want to work but do not actively "seek" work because they view job opportunities as limited, or because they have restricted labour mobility, or face discrimination, or structural, social or cultural barriers. The exclusion of people who want to work but are not seeking work (often called the "hidden unemployed" or "discouraged workers") is a criterion that will affect the count of both women and men although women may have a higher probability of being excluded from the count of unemployed because they suffer more from social barriers overall that impede them from meeting this criterion. There are situations where the conventional means of seeking work are of limited relevance - for example, in developing economies where the informal economy is rampant and where the labour force is largely self-employed. In such cases, the standard definition of unemployment would greatly undercount the untapped human resources of a country and would give a picture of the labour market that was more positive than reality would warrant.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The standard definition of unemployed persons is those individuals without work, seeking work in a recent past period, and currently available for work. Persons who did not look for work but have an arrangements for a future job are counted as unemployed. It is the labour force or the economically active portion of the population that serves as the base for this indicator, not the total population. Data are based on labor force sample surveys, general household sample surveys, censuses, official estimates, and administrative records.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Data are based on labor force sample surveys, general household sample surveys, censuses, official estimates, and administrative records. The data may differ from the ILO estimates. Relevance to gender indicator: Women tend to be excluded from the unemployment count for various reasons. Women suffer more from discrimination and from structural, social, and cultural barriers that impede them from seeking work. Also, women are often responsible for the care of children and the elderly and for household affairs. They may not be available for work during the short reference period, as they need to make arrangements before starting work. Furthermore, women are considered to be employed when they are working part-time or in temporary jobs, despite the instability of these jobs or their active search for more secure employment.