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Top 10 Countries with Highest Unemployment Rates

Without a doubt, the Philippines suffers from unemployment. Thousands of new graduates every year find it hard to land a job while some who have already graduated years ago are still looking for one.

The unemployed would rant and complain about their predicament but, apparently, the Philippines still has reasons not to worry too much. Filipinos, it appears, are comparably better off than the citizens of some countries who have been experiencing tremendously high unemployment rates during the past few years.

Take, for instance, Zimbabwe. As of 2009, the country’s unemployment rate is 97%. This figure means only three (3) out of 100 individuals looking for a job are able to get one. Even developed countries are not spared. European bigwigs such as Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy, for example, have higher unemployment rates than the Philippines.

The table below summarizes the top 10 countries with the highest unemployment rates in the world during the past 5 years.

Top 10 Highest Unemployment Rates in the World

Rank Country Unemployment Rate (%) Data as of
1 Zimbabwe 97.0 2009
2 Turkmenistan 70.0 2008 (November)
3 Tajikistan 60.0 2008 (August)
4 Mozambique 60.0 2009
5 Djibouti 59.0 2007
- Guam (United States) 56.0 2010
6 Namibia 51.2 2008
7 Senegal 48.0 2007
8 Nepal 46.0 2008
9 Swaziland 40.6 2007
10 Kenya 40.0 2009

Unemployment, as defined by the International Labor Organization, refers to the scenario when citizens are out of jobs but have been actively looking for work during the past month. The unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed individuals compared to the total individuals currently in the work force.

Of course, countries may have varying definitions of “unemployment” but the figures shown in the table below were taken from the official announcements of their national governments and compiled by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in Southeast Asia, but its employment data is still better compared to the percentages of African and even most European countries. Out of 165 countries around the world, the Philippines is ranked 104th.

Unemployment Rates — Southeast Asia

Overall Rank Country Unemployment Rate (%) Data as of
104 Philippines 7.20 2011 (April)
105 Indonesia 7.14 2010 (February)
140 Brunei 3.70 2008
146 Malaysia 3.20 2010 (April)
152 Vietnam 2.90 2009 (April)
154 Laos 2.50 2009
155 Singapore 1.90 2011 (March)
157 Cambodia 1.68 2008
162 Thailand 1.20 2009 (September)

Unemployment Rates — North and Central America

Overall Rank Country Unemployment Rate (%) Data as of
- Guam (US) 56.0 2010 (August)
-  American Samoa (US) 23.8 2010
- Puerto Rico (US) 16.0 2011 (June)
50 Belize 12.6 2009 (September)
69 Barbados 9.4 2010
77 United States 9.0 2011 (October)
- U.S. Virgin Islands (US) 7.9 2010 (April)
88 Costa Rica 7.8 2009 (October)
103 Canada 7.2 2011 (July)
106 Panama 7.1 2009
122 Trinidad and Tobago 5.8 2009
124 Mexico 5.5 2010 (April)

Unemployment Rates — Europe

Overall Rank Country Unemployment Rate (%) Data as of
26 Spain 21.5 2011 (October)
30 Greece 18.4 2011 (August)
42 Ireland 14.0 2011 (May)
51 Portugal 12.4 2011 (May)
68 France 9.5 2011 (May)
73 Poland 9.2 2011 (May)
81 Slovenia 8.3 2011 (May)
84 Italy 8.1 2011 (May)
90 Finland 7.8 2011 (May)
93 Sweden 7.7 2011 (May)
94 Iceland 7.6 2010 (June)
95 United Kingdom 7.6 2011 (March)
98 Denmark 7.4 2011 (May)
99 Cyprus 7.4 2011 (May)
100 Belgium 7.3 2011 (May)
108 Romania 7.0 2011 (March)
121 Germany 5.8 2011 (September)
132 Luxembourg 4.5 2011 (May)
134 Austria 4.3 2011 (May)
135 Netherlands 4.2 2011 (May)
145 Norway 3.4 2011 (April)
151 Switzerland 2.9 2010 (June)

Unemployment Rates — Africa

Overall Rank Country Unemployment Rate (%) Data as of
1 Zimbabwe 97.0 2009
4 Mozambique 60.0 2009
5  Djibouti 59.0 2007
6 Namibia 51.2 2008
7 Senegal 48.0 2007
9 Swaziland 40.6 2007
10 Kenya 40.0 2009
18 Mauritania 30.0 2008
22 South Africa 25.0 2011
27 Gabon 21.0 2006
45 Tunisia 13.3 2009
67 Algeria 10.0 2010 (September)
80 Mauritius 8.4 2010
97 Botswana 7.5 2007
142 Ghana 3.6 2008 (September)

Note: Countries whose unemployment figures refer to years earlier than 2006 were not included in the list.
Source: CIA World Factbook

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11 thoughts on “Top 10 Countries with Highest Unemployment Rates”

  1. ice_hot says:


    ano gamit nyo pong plugin for related search keywords?

  2. Eluterio Ignacio says:

    Having other countries with more unemployment than the Philippines is cold comfort to those who need jobs here. Well I guess there’s always a brighter side to everything.

  3. poojim says:

    Sinwerte pa din nga ang Philippines. Halos puro African countries sa top 10 ah…

  4. Eluterio Ignacio says:

    Although Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy have higher unemployment rates than in the Philippines, they have benefits for the unemployed. In France, their welfare is so generous that there is little motivation for the unemployed to seek jobs. So they may have more unemployed, but even they may be in a better position than some of the employed here in the Philippines, let alone the unemployed. Here, one who definitely is not in the ranks of the unemployed is the most famous Filipino, who is featured in a funny video. Take a break from the depressing news and laugh a little. See him being stepped on by Mexicans, including Marquez, even before the fight! Funny video, this.

  5. pog says:

    Well,here in Pinas we also have the “underemployed” or those who after fighting it out,so to speak, just to get employed ,then only to be underpaid.And am not talking about low salary , am talking about getting below minimum wage and no overtime pay.This is blatantly being practiced by even supposed to be reputable establishments..I know of a big supermarket chain that underpay their employees and I mean below minimum and no overtime pay…even if they are required to render OT…Which Supermarket chain is this?…well..its NOT hypermarket or SM..they pay the minimum and OT…take a guess…By the way…do we still have Department of Labor And Employment?…coz the last time I checked…paying below minimum or not paying OT or both …is illegal…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great share, there is really too much unemployment over there.  Zimbabwe is in a big trouble with 97.0% unemployment that means there are only 3% employment available!  I appreciate your survey and thanks for this inforamtion.

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  7. Poro says:

    bulok talaga pinas bulok presidente

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