Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (national estimate) - Country Ranking

Definition: Youth unemployment refers to the share of the labor force ages 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment. Definitions of labor force and unemployment differ by country.

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in November 2017.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 54.30 2016
2 Kiribati 54.00 2010
3 South Africa 53.40 2016
4 Libya 48.70 2012
5 Macedonia 48.20 2016
6 Greece 47.30 2016
7 St. Lucia 46.20 2016
8 Haiti 45.00 2003
9 Namibia 44.90 2016
10 Spain 44.40 2016
11 Swaziland 43.60 1995
12 Jordan 43.30 2004
13 Cabo Verde 41.20 1990
14 Congo 40.00 2005
15 Albania 39.80 2015
16 New Caledonia 38.40 2014
17 Nauru 38.00 2002
18 Italy 37.80 2016
19 Tunisia 37.60 2012
20 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 36.30 1991
21 Botswana 36.00 2010
22 Montenegro 35.90 2016
23 Syrian Arab Republic 35.80 2011
24 Gabon 35.70 2010
25 Serbia 34.90 2016
26 Lesotho 34.40 2013
27 Armenia 32.00 2015
28 Jamaica 31.80 2016
29 Grenada 31.50 1998
30 Croatia 31.30 2016
31 Egypt 30.80 2016
31 The Bahamas 30.80 2012
33 Georgia 30.50 2016
34 Mali 30.40 2016
35 Tonga 30.30 1996
36 Barbados 29.60 2016
37 Iran 29.20 2016
38 Cyprus 29.00 2016
39 Portugal 28.00 2016
40 San Marino 27.40 2016
41 Brazil 27.20 2016
42 Monaco 26.60 2016
43 Dominica 25.80 2001
44 Brunei 25.40 2014
45 Algeria 25.20 2014
45 Ethiopia 25.20 2016
47 France 24.60 2016
48 Yemen 24.50 2014
48 Puerto Rico 24.50 2008
50 Saudi Arabia 24.20 2016
51 Guyana 24.10 2002
52 Mauritius 23.90 2016
53 Uruguay 23.80 2016
54 Costa Rica 22.80 2016
55 Ukraine 22.40 2015
56 Slovak Republic 22.20 2016
57 Lebanon 22.10 2007
58 Timor-Leste 21.80 2013
59 Sri Lanka 21.60 2016
60 Kenya 21.30 1999
61 São Tomé and Principe 20.80 2012
61 Mongolia 20.80 2016
63 Romania 20.60 2016
64 Finland 20.20 2016
65 Belgium 20.10 2016
66 Morocco 19.90 2014
67 Antigua and Barbuda 19.80 2001
68 Turkey 19.50 2016
69 Samoa 19.10 2014
70 Luxembourg 18.90 2016
70 Sweden 18.90 2016
72 Argentina 18.80 2014
73 Fiji 18.10 2014
74 Poland 17.70 2016
74 Belize 17.70 2016
76 Latvia 17.30 2016
77 Ireland 17.20 2016
77 Bulgaria 17.20 2016
79 Colombia 16.90 2016
80 Angola 16.70 2011
81 Zimbabwe 16.40 2014
82 Russia 16.10 2015
83 Chile 16.00 2016
84 Kyrgyz Republic 15.50 2016
85 Indonesia 15.40 2016
86 Slovenia 15.20 2016
86 Zambia 15.20 2012
88 Peru 15.00 2016
89 Kuwait 14.60 2011
89 Venezuela 14.60 2015
91 Lithuania 14.40 2016
92 Seychelles 14.00 2015
93 Cayman Islands 13.80 2015
94 Dominican Republic 13.50 2015
95 Estonia 13.40 2016
95 Suriname 13.40 2015
95 Azerbaijan 13.40 2015
98 New Zealand 13.20 2016
99 The Gambia 13.10 2012
99 Canada 13.10 2016
101 United Kingdom 13.00 2016
102 Hungary 12.90 2016
103 Australia 12.70 2016
104 Nigeria 12.40 2016
105 United Arab Emirates 12.10 2008
106 Denmark 12.00 2016
107 Paraguay 11.50 2016
107 Panama 11.50 2016
109 Bangladesh 11.40 2016
110 Moldova 11.20 2016
110 Austria 11.20 2016
110 Norway 11.20 2016
113 St. Kitts and Nevis 11.00 2001
113 Malta 11.00 2016
115 Netherlands 10.80 2016
116 Bhutan 10.70 2015
116 Korea 10.70 2016
118 Vanuatu 10.60 2009
118 Cameroon 10.60 2014
120 Malaysia 10.50 2016
120 Czech Republic 10.50 2016
122 United States 10.40 2016
122 Ecuador 10.40 2016
124 India 10.10 2012
125 Comoros 10.00 2004
126 Hong Kong SAR, China 9.90 2016
127 El Salvador 9.80 2016
128 Palau 9.60 2000
129 Sierra Leone 9.40 2014
130 Singapore 9.10 2016
131 Burkina Faso 8.70 2014
132 Switzerland 8.60 2016
132 Israel 8.60 2016
134 Nicaragua 8.50 2014
134 Honduras 8.50 2016
136 Trinidad and Tobago 8.40 2015
137 Malawi 8.00 2013
138 Mexico 7.70 2016
138 Philippines 7.70 2016
140 Vietnam 7.40 2016
141 Germany 7.00 2016
142 Bolivia 6.90 2015
142 Mozambique 6.90 2015
144 Pakistan 6.60 2015
145 Iceland 6.50 2016
146 Guatemala 6.10 2016
146 Cuba 6.10 2010
148 Guinea 5.70 2002
149 Benin 5.60 2011
150 Senegal 5.40 2015
151 Bahrain 5.30 2012
152 Japan 5.10 2016
152 Macao SAR, China 5.10 2016
154 Ghana 4.60 2013
155 Kazakhstan 3.90 2013
155 Tanzania 3.90 2014
155 Côte d'Ivoire 3.90 2016
158 Papua New Guinea 3.60 2010
159 Liberia 3.30 2010
160 Thailand 3.10 2015
161 Burundi 2.90 2014
162 Togo 2.80 2011
163 Uganda 2.60 2013
164 Nepal 2.20 2008
165 Rwanda 1.90 2014
166 Lao PDR 1.80 2010
167 Myanmar 1.60 2015
167 Cambodia 1.60 2012
169 Madagascar 1.00 2012
170 Niger 0.50 2011
170 Qatar 0.50 2016

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Development Relevance: 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. Youth unemployment is an important policy issue for many economies. Young men and women today face increasing uncertainty in their hopes of undergoing a satisfactory transition in the labour market, and this uncertainty and disillusionment can, in turn, have damaging effects on individuals, communities, economies and society at large. Unemployed or underemployed youth are less able to contribute effectively to national development and have fewer opportunities to exercise their rights as citizens. They have less to spend as consumers, less to invest as savers and often have no "voice" to bring about change in their lives and communities. Widespread youth unemployment and underemployment also prevents companies and countries from innovating and developing competitive advantages based on human capital investment, thus undermining future prospects. Unemployment is a key measure to monitor whether a country is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. [SDG Indicator 8.5.2]

Limitations and Exceptions: 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 cases it is especially difficult to measure employment and unemployment in agriculture. The timing of a survey 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 also 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 unemployment count of both women and men. However, women tend to be excluded from the 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. Further, 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.

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, including people who have lost their jobs or who have voluntarily left work. Persons who did not look for work but have an arrangements for a future job are also counted as unemployed. 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. 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.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The series for ILO estimates is also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.