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 November 2017.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Djibouti 54.60 2002
2 Lesotho 32.50 2008
3 Kiribati 27.60 2010
4 Equatorial Guinea 27.40 1983
5 Swaziland 25.70 2007
6 South Africa 24.60 2016
7 Macedonia 24.40 2016
8 Cabo Verde 23.30 1990
9 Namibia 21.80 2016
10 Nauru 21.40 2011
11 Greece 19.90 2016
12 St. Lucia 19.40 2016
13 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 18.40 1991
14 Montenegro 18.20 2016
14 Armenia 18.20 2016
16 Spain 18.10 2016
17 Oman 17.90 2016
18 Albania 17.10 2015
19 The Bahamas 16.10 2013
20 Libya 15.90 2012
21 Botswana 14.60 2010
21 Serbia 14.60 2016
23 Gabon 14.40 2010
24 Iraq 14.30 2008
25 Georgia 14.20 2016
26 Puerto Rico 13.80 2015
27 New Caledonia 13.70 2014
28 Cyprus 12.60 2016
29 Croatia 12.50 2016
30 Tunisia 12.40 2016
31 Tajikistan 12.30 2009
31 Yemen 12.30 2014
33 Kenya 12.10 2009
34 Dominica 11.90 2001
35 Haiti 11.50 2012
36 Timor-Leste 11.20 2013
37 São Tomé and Principe 11.00 2006
37 Portugal 11.00 2016
39 Latvia 10.90 2016
39 Italy 10.90 2016
41 Grenada 10.60 1998
42 Iran 10.50 2016
43 Guyana 10.30 2002
44 Brazil 10.20 2016
44 France 10.20 2016
46 Ukraine 10.10 2015
46 Jordan 10.10 2014
48 Jamaica 9.60 2016
48 Turkey 9.60 2016
50 Congo 9.40 2012
50 Ethiopia 9.40 2016
52 Barbados 9.30 2016
53 Lithuania 9.10 2016
54 Finland 9.00 2016
54 Ireland 9.00 2016
54 Sudan 9.00 2009
57 Morocco 8.90 2016
57 Greenland 8.90 2015
59 Egypt 8.80 2016
59 Slovak Republic 8.80 2016
61 Mauritania 8.60 2012
62 Mali 8.40 2016
62 Mongolia 8.40 2016
64 Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.30 2016
65 Algeria 8.20 2016
66 Bulgaria 8.10 2016
66 Belgium 8.10 2016
68 Antigua and Barbuda 8.00 2001
69 Samoa 7.80 2014
70 Canada 7.70 2016
71 Costa Rica 7.50 2016
71 Slovenia 7.50 2016
73 Sweden 7.40 2016
73 Estonia 7.40 2016
75 Zimbabwe 7.30 2014
76 Zambia 7.20 2012
77 Angola 7.00 2011
78 The Gambia 6.70 2012
79 Colombia 6.60 2016
79 Romania 6.60 2016
81 Uruguay 6.50 2016
81 Argentina 6.50 2014
83 Austria 6.40 2016
83 Afghanistan 6.40 2011
83 Chile 6.40 2016
86 Paraguay 6.30 2016
86 Brunei 6.30 2014
88 Syrian Arab Republic 6.20 2010
88 Kyrgyz Republic 6.20 2016
88 Venezuela 6.20 2015
91 Poland 6.10 2016
91 Nigeria 6.10 2016
93 Luxembourg 6.00 2016
94 St. Kitts and Nevis 5.90 2001
94 Peru 5.90 2016
96 Denmark 5.80 2016
96 Russia 5.80 2015
98 Guinea 5.70 2002
98 Australia 5.70 2016
100 Sierra Leone 5.60 2014
100 Netherlands 5.60 2016
102 Moldova 5.50 2016
103 Norway 5.40 2016
104 Turkmenistan 5.30 2010
105 Hungary 5.10 2016
106 Tuvalu 5.00 2002
106 Lebanon 5.00 2009
108 Fiji 4.90 2014
108 Vanuatu 4.90 2009
108 United Kingdom 4.90 2016
108 Malawi 4.90 2013
108 United States 4.90 2016
113 Switzerland 4.80 2016
113 New Zealand 4.80 2016
113 Mauritius 4.80 2016
113 Senegal 4.80 2015
113 El Salvador 4.80 2016
118 Israel 4.70 2016
119 Monaco 4.60 2016
119 Kazakhstan 4.60 2013
121 Malta 4.40 2016
121 Germany 4.40 2016
121 Suriname 4.40 2015
121 Comoros 4.40 2004
121 Indonesia 4.40 2016
126 Belize 4.20 2016
126 Azerbaijan 4.20 2016
128 Honduras 4.10 2016
129 Dominican Republic 4.00 2015
130 Burkina Faso 3.90 2014
131 Mexico 3.80 2016
131 Nicaragua 3.80 2014
131 Korea 3.80 2016
131 Singapore 3.80 2016
135 Hong Kong SAR, China 3.70 2016
135 Ecuador 3.70 2016
135 Palau 3.70 2005
135 Seychelles 3.70 2015
135 Papua New Guinea 3.70 2011
140 Tonga 3.60 2003
141 Panama 3.50 2016
141 Cameroon 3.50 2014
141 San Marino 3.50 2016
144 Czech Republic 3.40 2016
144 Japan 3.40 2016
146 Cayman Islands 3.30 2015
147 Malaysia 3.10 2016
147 Bangladesh 3.10 2016
149 Sri Lanka 2.90 2016
149 Iceland 2.90 2016
149 Mozambique 2.90 2015
152 Pakistan 2.80 2015
152 Trinidad and Tobago 2.80 2015
154 Nepal 2.60 2014
154 Philippines 2.60 2016
154 Bolivia 2.60 2015
157 Saudi Arabia 2.50 2016
158 Cuba 2.40 2014
158 Macao SAR, China 2.40 2016
158 India 2.40 2012
158 Benin 2.40 2011
162 Liechtenstein 2.30 2013
163 Solomon Islands 2.20 2009
163 Togo 2.20 2011
163 Guatemala 2.20 2016
163 Vietnam 2.20 2016
163 Liberia 2.20 2010
168 Côte d'Ivoire 2.10 2016
169 Ghana 2.00 2013
169 Burundi 2.00 2014
171 Bhutan 1.80 2015
172 Tanzania 1.60 2014
173 Kuwait 1.40 2010
173 Uganda 1.40 2013
175 Belarus 1.20 2015
176 Rwanda 1.10 2014
176 United Arab Emirates 1.10 2016
178 Lao PDR 0.80 2010
179 Myanmar 0.70 2015
180 Thailand 0.60 2015
180 Madagascar 0.60 2012
182 Bahrain 0.50 2012
183 Niger 0.40 2011
184 Uzbekistan 0.30 1995
185 Cambodia 0.20 2014
186 Qatar 0.10 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.