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, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in December 2019.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Lesotho 38.79 2008
2 Malawi 36.70 2017
3 Iraq 30.96 2017
4 Sudan 30.74 2011
5 South Africa 29.06 2018
6 Gabon 28.52 2010
7 Algeria 26.23 2017
8 Yemen 26.13 2014
9 Libya 25.05 2012
10 São Tomé and Principe 24.51 2006
11 Eswatini 24.42 2016
12 Greece 24.23 2018
13 Jordan 24.13 2016
14 St. Lucia 23.48 2016
15 Egypt 23.01 2017
16 Tunisia 22.76 2018
17 Saudi Arabia 22.56 2018
18 Syrian Arab Republic 22.00 2010
19 Grenada 21.77 1998
20 Botswana 21.43 2010
21 Samoa 21.34 2017
22 North Macedonia 19.87 2018
23 Equatorial Guinea 19.38 1983
24 Haiti 19.20 2007
25 Iran 18.94 2018
26 Bosnia and Herzegovina 18.78 2019
27 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 18.60 2001
28 Namibia 18.59 2018
29 Armenia 18.07 2013
30 Nauru 17.95 2013
31 Rwanda 17.05 2018
32 Spain 17.02 2018
33 Tuvalu 16.22 2016
34 New Caledonia 15.60 2014
35 Guyana 15.23 2017
36 Montenegro 15.10 2018
37 Zimbabwe 14.90 2014
38 The Bahamas 14.50 2016
39 Brazil 14.19 2018
40 Afghanistan 14.03 2017
41 Turkey 13.77 2018
42 Serbia 13.70 2018
43 Nepal 13.06 2017
44 Costa Rica 12.76 2011
45 Zambia 12.73 2017
46 The Gambia 12.63 2012
47 Albania 12.58 2017
48 Mauritania 12.40 2012
49 Jamaica 11.90 2018
50 Colombia 11.79 2018
51 Italy 11.77 2018
52 Cabo Verde 11.55 2018
53 Suriname 11.45 2015
54 Georgia 11.23 2018
55 Uganda 11.14 2017
56 Angola 10.87 2010
57 Congo 10.80 2012
58 Morocco 10.66 2016
59 Argentina 10.51 2018
60 Comoros 10.44 2014
61 Lebanon 10.40 2009
62 Uruguay 10.07 2018
63 San Marino 10.03 2016
64 Barbados 10.01 2016
65 Brunei 9.96 2017
66 Belize 9.81 2017
67 Puerto Rico 9.70 2015
68 Mauritius 9.51 2018
69 Dominica 9.45 2001
70 Croatia 9.34 2018
71 Greenland 9.30 2015
72 Burkina Faso 9.24 2014
73 Nigeria 9.15 2017
74 France 9.10 2018
75 Antigua and Barbuda 8.78 2001
76 Cyprus 8.74 2018
77 Monaco 8.68 2016
78 Venezuela 8.60 2013
79 Dominican Republic 8.07 2017
80 Chile 7.99 2018
81 Mali 7.87 2018
82 Lao PDR 7.82 2017
83 Paraguay 7.52 2018
84 Peru 7.46 2018
85 Portugal 7.44 2018
86 Ukraine 7.43 2018
87 Tonga 7.41 2003
88 Senegal 7.30 2015
89 Finland 7.30 2018
90 Honduras 7.17 2018
91 Oman 7.10 2018
92 Slovak Republic 7.03 2018
93 Sri Lanka 6.72 2016
94 Bangladesh 6.68 2017
95 Kyrgyz Republic 6.45 2018
96 Latvia 6.42 2018
97 Sweden 6.29 2018
98 Timor-Leste 6.26 2016
99 United Arab Emirates 5.93 2018
100 Luxembourg 5.88 2018
101 Kuwait 5.83 2016
102 Azerbaijan 5.80 2018
103 Slovenia 5.70 2018
104 Ireland 5.69 2018
105 Kiribati 5.64 2015
106 Nicaragua 5.61 2014
107 Uzbekistan 5.60 2017
108 Belgium 5.56 2018
109 Fiji 5.54 2016
110 Tajikistan 5.50 2016
111 Canada 5.49 2018
112 Kazakhstan 5.43 2017
113 Lithuania 5.41 2018
114 Estonia 5.32 2018
115 Australia 5.32 2018
116 India 5.30 2018
117 Cayman Islands 5.20 2015
118 Vanuatu 5.15 2009
119 Denmark 5.15 2018
120 Switzerland 5.11 2018
121 Panama 4.97 2018
122 Mongolia 4.83 2018
123 Russia 4.78 2018
124 Bulgaria 4.65 2018
125 Austria 4.65 2018
126 Pakistan 4.55 2018
127 New Zealand 4.47 2018
128 Singapore 4.40 2017
129 Ecuador 4.38 2018
130 Ghana 4.37 2017
131 St. Kitts and Nevis 4.27 2001
132 Indonesia 4.25 2018
133 Cameroon 4.03 2014
134 Hungary 3.99 2018
135 Netherlands 3.96 2018
136 Israel 3.95 2018
137 United Kingdom 3.94 2018
138 Malaysia 3.92 2016
139 Bahrain 3.88 2012
140 Sierra Leone 3.88 2014
141 Côte d'Ivoire 3.87 2017
142 Poland 3.85 2018
143 United States 3.84 2018
144 El Salvador 3.75 2018
145 Korea 3.69 2018
146 Mozambique 3.67 2015
147 Bolivia 3.63 2018
148 Dem. Rep. Congo 3.62 2012
149 Belarus 3.56 2018
150 Guinea 3.55 2002
151 Norway 3.54 2018
152 Guatemala 3.50 2017
153 Malta 3.50 2018
154 Romania 3.49 2018
155 Mexico 3.43 2018
156 Trinidad and Tobago 3.16 2016
157 Bhutan 3.15 2015
158 Seychelles 3.11 2018
159 Ethiopia 2.94 2013
160 Kenya 2.94 2016
161 Germany 2.91 2018
162 Benin 2.86 2011
163 Czech Republic 2.80 2018
164 Hong Kong SAR, China 2.77 2017
165 Tanzania 2.69 2014
166 Philippines 2.68 2018
167 Cuba 2.60 2015
168 Iceland 2.54 2018
169 Liechtenstein 2.53 2007
170 Moldova 2.47 2018
171 Liberia 2.36 2016
172 Turkmenistan 2.30 2010
173 Japan 2.20 2018
174 Vietnam 2.13 2018
175 Palau 1.75 2014
176 Togo 1.70 2015
177 Macao SAR, China 1.60 2017
178 Papua New Guinea 1.44 2011
179 Burundi 1.17 2014
180 Myanmar 1.04 2018
181 Cambodia 0.85 2016
182 Solomon Islands 0.72 2013
183 Madagascar 0.63 2012
184 Thailand 0.48 2013
185 Qatar 0.46 2018
186 Niger 0.43 2014
187 Chad 0.30 1993

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

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.