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, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in November 2017.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 The Gambia 38.60 2017
2 Oman 34.40 2017
3 Lesotho 34.10 2017
4 Solomon Islands 32.80 2017
5 Syrian Arab Republic 32.70 2017
6 South Africa 30.30 2017
7 Greece 28.60 2017
8 Swaziland 27.70 2017
9 Yemen 27.40 2017
10 St. Lucia 27.30 2017
11 Mozambique 26.40 2017
11 Libya 26.40 2017
13 Jordan 26.20 2017
14 Iraq 24.30 2017
15 Macedonia 24.10 2017
16 Comoros 23.90 2017
17 Egypt 23.70 2017
18 Namibia 23.60 2017
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina 23.10 2017
20 Gabon 21.90 2017
21 Tunisia 21.00 2017
21 Botswana 21.00 2017
21 Dominican Republic 21.00 2017
24 Saudi Arabia 19.50 2017
25 Sudan 19.30 2017
25 Spain 19.30 2017
27 Algeria 19.10 2017
28 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 18.70 2017
28 Armenia 18.70 2017
28 Iran 18.70 2017
31 New Caledonia 17.60 2017
32 Jamaica 17.50 2017
33 Montenegro 17.40 2017
34 São Tomé and Principe 17.30 2017
35 Belize 17.10 2017
36 Serbia 15.50 2017
36 Guyana 15.50 2017
38 Haiti 15.40 2017
38 Albania 15.40 2017
38 Brazil 15.40 2017
41 The Bahamas 14.10 2017
42 Suriname 13.90 2017
43 Turkey 13.70 2017
44 Congo 13.50 2017
44 Mali 13.50 2017
46 Kenya 13.20 2017
46 Cabo Verde 13.20 2017
48 Italy 13.00 2017
49 Afghanistan 12.70 2017
50 Senegal 12.60 2017
50 Mauritania 12.60 2017
52 Cyprus 12.40 2017
53 Croatia 12.20 2017
54 Colombia 12.00 2017
55 Morocco 11.70 2017
56 Mauritius 11.30 2017
56 Fiji 11.30 2017
56 Côte d'Ivoire 11.30 2017
59 Barbados 11.20 2017
60 Costa Rica 11.10 2017
61 Lebanon 10.90 2017
62 Pakistan 10.70 2017
63 Puerto Rico 10.60 2017
64 Uruguay 10.20 2017
65 Portugal 10.10 2017
65 Slovak Republic 10.10 2017
67 Georgia 10.00 2017
68 Tajikistan 9.80 2017
68 France 9.80 2017
70 United Arab Emirates 9.70 2017
71 Argentina 9.40 2017
72 Kyrgyz Republic 9.30 2017
73 Uzbekistan 8.60 2017
74 Latvia 8.50 2017
75 Honduras 8.40 2017
75 Finland 8.40 2017
75 Turkmenistan 8.40 2017
78 Ethiopia 8.10 2017
79 Samoa 8.00 2017
79 Slovenia 8.00 2017
79 Venezuela 8.00 2017
82 Ukraine 7.90 2017
83 Sri Lanka 7.80 2017
84 Peru 7.60 2017
84 Brunei 7.60 2017
86 Zambia 7.50 2017
86 Chile 7.50 2017
88 Belgium 7.20 2017
89 Equatorial Guinea 7.10 2017
89 Eritrea 7.10 2017
89 Malawi 7.10 2017
92 Djibouti 7.00 2017
92 Chad 7.00 2017
92 Tonga 7.00 2017
92 Lithuania 7.00 2017
96 Guinea 6.90 2017
96 Central African Republic 6.90 2017
98 Ecuador 6.80 2017
98 Sweden 6.80 2017
98 Somalia 6.80 2017
101 Togo 6.70 2017
101 Angola 6.70 2017
101 Denmark 6.70 2017
104 Guinea-Bissau 6.60 2017
104 Nigeria 6.60 2017
104 Estonia 6.60 2017
107 Kazakhstan 6.40 2017
107 Nicaragua 6.40 2017
107 Indonesia 6.40 2017
110 Luxembourg 6.30 2017
110 Paraguay 6.30 2017
112 Panama 6.20 2017
113 Ghana 6.10 2017
113 Vanuatu 6.10 2017
115 Canada 5.90 2017
115 Azerbaijan 5.90 2017
117 Mongolia 5.80 2017
117 Australia 5.80 2017
117 Timor-Leste 5.80 2017
120 New Zealand 5.70 2017
121 Philippines 5.60 2017
121 Bulgaria 5.60 2017
123 Austria 5.40 2017
123 Trinidad and Tobago 5.40 2017
125 Malta 5.30 2017
125 Cameroon 5.30 2017
125 Israel 5.30 2017
125 Netherlands 5.30 2017
129 Poland 5.20 2017
130 Russia 5.10 2017
130 Romania 5.10 2017
130 Ireland 5.10 2017
133 Zimbabwe 4.90 2017
133 Bangladesh 4.90 2017
135 United States 4.80 2017
135 Switzerland 4.80 2017
135 El Salvador 4.80 2017
138 United Kingdom 4.50 2017
139 Dem. Rep. Congo 4.30 2017
139 Bahrain 4.30 2017
141 Czech Republic 4.20 2017
141 Bolivia 4.20 2017
141 Hungary 4.20 2017
144 India 4.10 2017
145 Mexico 3.90 2017
145 Liberia 3.90 2017
147 Norway 3.80 2017
147 China 3.80 2017
149 Malaysia 3.70 2017
150 Germany 3.50 2017
150 Korea 3.50 2017
152 Tanzania 3.40 2017
152 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 3.40 2017
152 Guatemala 3.40 2017
155 Hong Kong SAR, China 3.20 2017
155 Moldova 3.20 2017
157 Bhutan 3.10 2017
158 Papua New Guinea 3.00 2017
158 Cuba 3.00 2017
158 Madagascar 3.00 2017
161 Iceland 2.90 2017
162 Nepal 2.80 2017
163 Japan 2.70 2017
163 Rwanda 2.70 2017
165 Vietnam 2.20 2017
166 Burkina Faso 2.10 2017
166 Singapore 2.10 2017
168 Kuwait 1.90 2017
168 Uganda 1.90 2017
168 Burundi 1.90 2017
168 Sierra Leone 1.90 2017
172 Macao SAR, China 1.70 2017
173 Niger 1.50 2017
174 Qatar 1.40 2017
175 Lao PDR 1.30 2017
176 Thailand 1.00 2017
176 Benin 1.00 2017
178 Myanmar 0.80 2017
179 Belarus 0.50 2017
180 Cambodia 0.20 2017

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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. The series is part of the ILO estimates and is harmonized to ensure comparability across countries and over time by accounting for differences in data source, scope of coverage, methodology, and other country-specific factors. The estimates are based mainly on nationally representative labor force surveys, with other sources (population censuses and nationally reported estimates) used only when no survey data are available.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Data up to 2016 are estimates while data from 2017 are projections. National estimates are also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.