Unemployment, male (% of male 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 32.54 2008
2 Equatorial Guinea 28.05 1983
3 South Africa 25.15 2018
4 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 22.60 2001
5 North Macedonia 21.29 2018
6 Namibia 21.13 2018
7 Eswatini 21.03 2016
8 Malawi 20.96 2017
9 St. Lucia 19.39 2016
10 Libya 15.88 2012
11 Greece 15.37 2018
12 Montenegro 15.24 2018
13 Haiti 14.90 2007
14 Albania 14.61 2017
15 Botswana 14.59 2010
16 Gabon 14.42 2010
17 Armenia 14.37 2013
18 Georgia 13.92 2018
19 Puerto Rico 13.80 2015
20 New Caledonia 13.74 2014
21 Spain 13.72 2018
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.65 2019
23 Rwanda 13.53 2018
24 Jordan 13.33 2016
25 Cabo Verde 12.66 2018
26 Tunisia 12.50 2018
27 Sudan 12.37 2011
28 Yemen 12.34 2014
29 Serbia 11.96 2018
30 Dominica 11.92 2001
31 Kiribati 11.87 2015
32 The Bahamas 11.10 2016
33 São Tomé and Principe 11.05 2006
34 Zambia 10.88 2017
35 Brazil 10.84 2018
36 Algeria 10.77 2017
37 Lao PDR 10.75 2017
38 Samoa 10.61 2017
39 Grenada 10.57 1998
40 Iran 10.37 2018
41 Afghanistan 10.37 2017
42 Nepal 10.31 2017
43 Iraq 10.26 2017
44 Ukraine 10.04 2018
45 Nauru 10.03 2013
46 Guyana 9.88 2017
47 Italy 9.75 2018
48 Turkey 9.51 2018
49 Congo 9.40 2012
50 Barbados 9.26 2016
51 France 9.02 2018
52 Greenland 8.90 2015
53 Morocco 8.81 2016
54 Brunei 8.80 2017
55 Costa Rica 8.59 2011
56 Mauritania 8.46 2012
57 Latvia 8.41 2018
58 Egypt 8.22 2017
59 Argentina 8.20 2018
60 Uganda 8.07 2017
61 Antigua and Barbuda 8.04 2001
62 Cyprus 8.03 2018
63 Angola 7.91 2010
64 Tajikistan 7.90 2016
65 Croatia 7.64 2018
66 Nigeria 7.59 2017
67 Finland 7.42 2018
68 Zimbabwe 7.30 2014
69 Colombia 7.09 2018
70 Lithuania 6.89 2018
71 Uruguay 6.86 2018
72 Venezuela 6.83 2013
73 The Gambia 6.73 2012
74 Jamaica 6.72 2018
75 Chile 6.69 2018
76 Comoros 6.68 2014
77 Portugal 6.57 2018
78 Mali 6.53 2018
79 Sweden 6.40 2018
80 Senegal 6.39 2015
81 Belgium 6.28 2018
82 Syrian Arab Republic 6.23 2010
83 Canada 6.14 2018
84 Slovak Republic 6.13 2018
85 Uzbekistan 6.00 2017
86 Belarus 5.93 2018
87 St. Kitts and Nevis 5.86 2001
88 Mongolia 5.85 2018
89 Ireland 5.78 2018
90 Guinea 5.71 2002
91 Bulgaria 5.69 2018
92 Kyrgyz Republic 5.66 2018
93 Sierra Leone 5.58 2014
94 Peru 5.55 2018
95 Estonia 5.41 2018
96 India 5.34 2018
97 Luxembourg 5.33 2018
98 Dem. Rep. Congo 5.32 2012
99 Turkmenistan 5.30 2010
100 Paraguay 5.29 2018
101 Australia 5.28 2018
102 Lebanon 5.02 2009
103 Austria 5.02 2018
104 Russia 4.91 2018
105 Denmark 4.82 2018
106 Romania 4.71 2018
107 Indonesia 4.68 2018
108 Tuvalu 4.64 2016
109 Honduras 4.62 2018
110 Slovenia 4.60 2018
111 Belize 4.59 2017
112 Monaco 4.58 2016
113 Mauritius 4.41 2018
114 Kazakhstan 4.40 2017
115 Suriname 4.38 2015
116 Switzerland 4.37 2018
117 Dominican Republic 4.29 2017
118 El Salvador 4.19 2018
119 New Zealand 4.15 2018
120 Vanuatu 4.11 2009
121 Azerbaijan 4.10 2018
122 Ghana 4.07 2017
123 United Kingdom 4.05 2018
124 Israel 4.04 2018
125 Norway 4.03 2018
126 Singapore 4.00 2017
127 Pakistan 3.96 2018
128 Seychelles 3.95 2018
129 United States 3.95 2018
130 Korea 3.92 2018
131 Burkina Faso 3.86 2014
132 Poland 3.84 2018
133 Nicaragua 3.84 2014
134 Liberia 3.79 2016
135 Germany 3.79 2018
136 Tonga 3.79 2003
137 Malta 3.77 2018
138 Netherlands 3.72 2018
139 Papua New Guinea 3.70 2011
140 Fiji 3.70 2016
141 San Marino 3.52 2016
142 Moldova 3.48 2018
143 Hungary 3.48 2018
144 Bolivia 3.46 2018
145 Hong Kong SAR, China 3.39 2017
146 Timor-Leste 3.34 2016
147 Bangladesh 3.32 2017
148 Cayman Islands 3.30 2015
149 Trinidad and Tobago 3.24 2016
150 Mexico 3.19 2018
151 Mozambique 3.15 2015
152 Panama 3.13 2018
153 Malaysia 3.13 2016
154 Cameroon 3.06 2014
155 Saudi Arabia 2.94 2018
156 Ecuador 2.92 2018
157 Côte d'Ivoire 2.86 2017
158 Iceland 2.85 2018
159 Sri Lanka 2.84 2016
160 Togo 2.71 2015
161 Japan 2.60 2018
162 Kenya 2.58 2016
163 Benin 2.42 2011
164 Macao SAR, China 2.40 2017
165 Cuba 2.30 2015
166 Philippines 2.13 2018
167 Burundi 2.05 2014
168 Guatemala 1.93 2017
169 Vietnam 1.87 2018
170 Bhutan 1.84 2015
171 Czech Republic 1.79 2018
172 Liechtenstein 1.68 2007
173 Ethiopia 1.65 2013
174 Tanzania 1.57 2014
175 United Arab Emirates 1.33 2018
176 Chad 1.10 1993
177 Palau 1.06 2014
178 Kuwait 0.94 2016
179 Oman 0.80 2018
180 Myanmar 0.73 2018
181 Solomon Islands 0.67 2013
182 Niger 0.60 2014
183 Cambodia 0.59 2016
184 Madagascar 0.57 2012
185 Thailand 0.50 2013
186 Bahrain 0.47 2012
187 Qatar 0.05 2018

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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.