Unemployment with tertiary education (% of total unemployment)

Definition: Unemployment with tertiary education is the share of the total unemployed who attained or completed tertiary education as the highest level.

Description: The map below shows how Unemployment with tertiary education (% of total unemployment) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Armenia, with a value of 52.60. The country with the lowest value in the world is El Salvador, with a value of 0.10.

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

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Unemployment by level of educational attainment provides insights into the relation between the educational attainment of workers and unemployment and may be used to draw inferences about changes in employment demand. A high share of the unemployed with low education levels may suggest their education level be increased or more low-skill occupations be created. Similarly, a high share of unemployment among persons with higher education could indicate a lack of sufficient professional and high-level technical jobs.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on unemployment are drawn from labor force sample surveys and general household sample surveys, censuses, and official estimates, which are generally based on information from different sources and can be combined in many ways. 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. Besides the limitations to comparability raised for measuring unemployment, the different ways of classifying the education level may also cause inconsistency across countries. Still, information on educational attainment is the best available indicator of skill levels of the labor force to date.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Unemployment with tertiary education is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed who attained or completed tertiary education as the highest level by the total number of unemployed, and multiplying by 100. The unemployed are defined 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. The levels of educational attainment is based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), which was designed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. Note that primary education refers to ISCED 1 (primary) and 2 (lower secondary), and secondary education consists of ISCED 3 (upper secondary) and 4 (post-secondary) here.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual