What is the Unemployment Rate?

What is the Unemployment Rate?

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of unemployed workers in the total labor force. Workers are considered unemployed if they currently do not work, despite the fact that they are able and willing to do so. The total labor force consists of all employed and unemployed people within an economy.

The unemployment rate provides insights into the economy’s spare capacity and unused resources. Unemployment tends to be cyclical and decreases when the economy expands as companies contract more workers to meet growing demand. Unemployment usually increases as economic activity slows.

There are different types of unemployment: Frictional unemployment refers to temporary unemployment during the period when people are searching for a job. Structural unemployment is a mismatch between workers’ skills or locations and job requirements. Seasonal unemployment is caused by seasonal patterns in economic activity, such as harvesting or tourism.

The methodology for calculating the unemployment rate often varies among countries since different definitions of employment and unemployment, as well as different data sources, are used.

The table below shows the unemployment rate by country for the last five years.

Looking for forecasts? FocusEconomics Consensus Forecasts cover approx. 30 macro-economic indicators per country for a 5-year forecast period and quarterly forecasts for the most important economic variables. Get Details.

Unemployment Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Albania17.314.213.412.311.2
Algeria11.210.511.711.7-  
Argentina7.18.48.49.29.8
Armenia19.517.118.016.917.9
Australia6.15.75.65.35.2
Austria5.86.05.54.94.5
Azerbaijan5.05.05.04.95.5
Bahrain3.54.34.1-  -  
Bangladesh4.24.14.0-  -  
Belarus5.95.85.64.84.0
Belgium8.57.97.16.05.4
Belize10.211.19.79.410.4
Bolivia4.64.44.54.34.8
Bosnia and Herzegovina27.725.420.518.415.7
Brazil8.511.512.712.311.9
Brunei7.88.69.39.29.2
Bulgaria8.06.75.74.7-  
Canada6.97.06.35.85.7
Chile6.36.56.67.47.2
China4.14.03.93.83.6
Colombia8.99.29.49.710.5
Costa Rica9.69.59.312.012.4
Croatia17.614.712.29.67.9
Cyprus14.913.011.18.47.0
Czech Republic5.14.02.92.22.0
Denmark4.54.14.23.73.6
Dominican Republic-  -  -  -  -  
Ecuador4.35.44.44.1-  
Egypt12.812.511.89.97.9
El Salvador7.07.0-  -  -  
Estonia-  -  -  -  -  
Eurozone10.910.09.18.27.6
Finland9.38.98.67.46.7
France10.410.09.49.08.5
Germany6.46.15.75.25.0
Ghana-  -  -  -  -  
Greece25.023.621.519.317.3
Hungary6.85.14.23.73.4
Iceland4.03.02.82.73.5
Indonesia6.25.65.55.35.3
Iran11.812.512.112.110.6
Iraq10.710.813.012.912.8
Ireland9.98.46.75.85.0
Israel5.34.84.24.03.8
Italy11.911.711.210.69.9
Jamaica13.513.211.69.17.7
Japan3.43.12.82.42.4
Jordan13.015.318.318.619.1
Kazakhstan5.14.94.94.8-  
Korea3.63.73.73.83.8
Kosovo-  -  -  -  -  
Kuwait2.22.21.82.12.2
Latvia9.99.78.77.46.4
Lebanon6.26.36.16.26.2
Lithuania8.87.66.76.06.4
Luxembourg6.86.35.95.55.4
Malaysia3.13.53.33.33.3
Malta5.44.74.03.73.4
Mexico4.03.43.13.42.9
Moldova4.23.83.32.94.3
Mongolia7.510.08.87.710.0
Montenegro17.221.322.117.816.2
Morocco9.69.910.29.79.3
Myanmar4.04.04.04.0-  
Netherlands6.96.04.93.83.4
New Zealand5.45.14.74.34.1
Nicaragua-  -  -  -  -  
Nigeria4.37.18.48.28.1
North Macedonia26.123.722.420.717.3
Norway4.54.74.23.83.7
Oman3.63.33.02.92.7
Pakistan5.96.06.05.7-  
Panama5.15.56.16.07.1
Paraguay5.46.05.25.65.7
Peru6.46.76.96.76.6
Philippines6.35.55.75.35.1
Poland9.78.26.65.85.2
Portugal12.411.18.97.06.6
Puerto Rico12.911.711.510.38.4
Qatar0.20.20.10.10.1
Romania6.85.95.04.23.9
Russia5.65.55.24.84.6
Saudi Arabia5.75.65.96.05.6
Serbia17.715.313.512.710.4
Singapore1.92.12.22.12.3
Slovakia11.59.78.16.55.8
Slovenia9.08.06.65.14.5
South Africa25.426.727.527.128.7
Spain22.119.617.215.314.1
Sri Lanka4.74.44.24.4-  
Sweden7.46.96.76.36.8
Switzerland3.23.33.12.62.3
Taiwan3.83.93.83.73.7
Tajikistan2.22.32.10.0-  
Thailand0.70.81.00.91.0
Trinidad and Tobago3.44.04.8185-  
Tunisia15.215.515.415.515.2
Turkey10.310.910.911.013.7
USA5.34.94.33.93.7
Ukraine9.19.39.58.88.2
United Arab Emirates1.91.62.52.22.6
United Kingdom5.44.94.44.13.8
Uruguay7.57.97.98.48.9
Venezuela6.87.37.26.9-  
Vietnam2.32.32.22.22.2

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