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

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

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 Yemen 39.20 2014
2 Lesotho 32.10 2014
3 Greece 31.40 2014
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina 29.80 2014
5 Mauritania 29.50 2014
6 Syrian Arab Republic 28.20 2014
7 Libya 28.10 2014
7 Macedonia 28.10 2014
9 Egypt 27.80 2014
10 South Africa 27.60 2014
11 Spain 26.00 2014
12 Serbia 25.90 2014
13 Gabon 25.80 2014
14 Swaziland 25.50 2014
15 Mozambique 25.00 2014
16 Iraq 24.10 2014
17 Dominican Republic 23.40 2014
18 Sudan 21.60 2014
19 Botswana 21.50 2014
20 Saudi Arabia 20.20 2014
21 Montenegro 20.10 2014
22 Namibia 20.00 2014
23 Belize 19.70 2014
24 Iran 19.60 2014
25 Jordan 19.50 2014
26 Armenia 18.80 2014
27 Jamaica 17.30 2014
28 Algeria 16.80 2014
29 Croatia 16.60 2014
30 Tunisia 15.80 2014
31 The Bahamas 15.70 2014
32 Cyprus 15.40 2014
33 Albania 14.80 2014
34 Portugal 14.40 2014
35 Barbados 14.30 2014
36 Oman 14.00 2014
36 Guyana 14.00 2014
36 Afghanistan 14.00 2014
36 Slovak Republic 14.00 2014
40 Italy 13.60 2014
41 Colombia 13.30 2014
42 Senegal 12.90 2014
43 Mauritius 12.40 2014
44 Georgia 12.30 2014
45 Puerto Rico 11.90 2014
46 Zambia 11.50 2014
47 Cabo Verde 11.40 2014
48 Fiji 11.20 2014
48 Mali 11.20 2014
50 Lebanon 11.00 2014
50 Costa Rica 11.00 2014
52 Morocco 10.90 2014
52 Bulgaria 10.90 2014
54 Uzbekistan 10.80 2014
55 Turkmenistan 10.70 2014
55 Turkey 10.70 2014
57 Kenya 10.60 2014
58 Lithuania 10.20 2014
59 Slovenia 10.00 2014
60 Tajikistan 9.90 2014
60 Poland 9.90 2014
62 Ireland 9.80 2014
62 Argentina 9.80 2014
64 France 9.70 2014
65 Venezuela 9.40 2014
65 Dem. Rep. Congo 9.40 2014
67 Latvia 9.30 2014
67 Pakistan 9.30 2014
69 Uruguay 9.10 2014
69 Kyrgyz Republic 9.10 2014
71 Malawi 9.00 2014
72 Suriname 8.90 2014
73 Brazil 8.70 2014
74 United Arab Emirates 8.60 2014
75 Belgium 8.40 2014
76 Equatorial Guinea 8.20 2014
77 Finland 7.90 2014
78 Haiti 7.80 2014
78 Hungary 7.80 2014
78 Ethiopia 7.80 2014
81 Central African Republic 7.70 2014
81 Eritrea 7.70 2014
81 Sweden 7.70 2014
84 Somalia 7.60 2014
84 Czech Republic 7.60 2014
86 Burundi 7.50 2014
86 Chad 7.50 2014
88 The Gambia 7.40 2014
88 Guinea-Bissau 7.40 2014
90 Togo 7.30 2014
90 Angola 7.30 2014
90 Chile 7.30 2014
90 Nigeria 7.30 2014
94 Indonesia 7.20 2014
95 Philippines 7.00 2014
95 Sri Lanka 7.00 2014
95 Comoros 7.00 2014
98 Congo 6.90 2014
98 Luxembourg 6.90 2014
98 Denmark 6.90 2014
101 Bahrain 6.70 2014
101 Estonia 6.70 2014
103 Netherlands 6.60 2014
104 Canada 6.50 2014
104 Timor-Leste 6.50 2014
104 Ukraine 6.50 2014
107 New Zealand 6.30 2014
107 Romania 6.30 2014
107 Israel 6.30 2014
110 Ecuador 6.20 2014
110 Malta 6.20 2014
112 Azerbaijan 6.10 2014
113 United States 6.00 2014
114 Australia 5.90 2014
115 United Kingdom 5.80 2014
116 Paraguay 5.60 2014
116 Panama 5.60 2014
118 Zimbabwe 5.40 2014
119 Trinidad and Tobago 5.30 2014
119 Nicaragua 5.30 2014
121 Honduras 5.10 2014
121 Cameroon 5.10 2014
123 Austria 5.00 2014
123 Bangladesh 5.00 2014
123 Mexico 5.00 2014
126 Kazakhstan 4.90 2014
127 Russia 4.80 2014
127 Germany 4.80 2014
127 Mongolia 4.80 2014
127 Peru 4.80 2014
131 Iceland 4.70 2014
131 Switzerland 4.70 2014
133 Uganda 4.60 2014
133 Niger 4.60 2014
133 Madagascar 4.60 2014
136 Solomon Islands 4.40 2014
136 Belarus 4.40 2014
136 El Salvador 4.40 2014
139 Tanzania 4.10 2014
140 Brunei 4.00 2014
140 India 4.00 2014
142 China 3.90 2014
142 Cuba 3.90 2014
142 Liberia 3.90 2014
145 Côte d'Ivoire 3.70 2014
146 Myanmar 3.60 2014
147 Bhutan 3.40 2014
147 Japan 3.40 2014
149 Norway 3.30 2014
149 Bolivia 3.30 2014
149 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 3.30 2014
149 Singapore 3.30 2014
153 Korea 3.10 2014
154 Papua New Guinea 3.00 2014
154 Guatemala 3.00 2014
156 Hong Kong SAR, China 2.70 2014
157 Moldova 2.60 2014
157 Nepal 2.60 2014
159 Vietnam 2.50 2014
160 Ghana 2.40 2014
160 Kuwait 2.40 2014
162 Burkina Faso 2.30 2014
163 Sierra Leone 2.20 2014
163 Malaysia 2.20 2014
165 Qatar 1.90 2014
166 Guinea 1.60 2014
167 Macao SAR, China 1.40 2014
168 Lao PDR 1.20 2014
169 Benin 1.00 2014
170 Thailand 0.90 2014
171 Cambodia 0.40 2014
171 Rwanda 0.40 2014

More rankings: Africa | Asia | Central America & the Caribbean | Europe | Middle East | North America | Oceania | South America | World |

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: 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. The unemployment rates presented here are the ILO estimates from the ILO's Key Indicators of the Labour Market database. The ILO estimates are harmonized to account for inconsistencies resulting from data source, definition, reference period, coverage, age group, and collection methodologies. The adjusted rates are based on household labour force sample surveys and includes both nationally reported and imputed data. Caution should be used when comparing the ILO estimates against other national estimates such as employment data.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The unemployment rates presented here are the ILO estimates from the ILO's Key Indicators of the Labour Market database. These harmonized estimates use strict data selection criteria and enhanced methods to ensure comparability across countries and over time. (Note: Before April 2014, this code was used for national estimates, which are also now available in the WDI database under a different code.) 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.