Top 10 Countries with Highest Unemployment Rates

James Ryan Jonas

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
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
Unemployment Rates — North and Central America
Unemployment Rates — Europe
Unemployment Rates — Africa
Note: Countries whose unemployment figures refer to years earlier than 2006 were not included in the list.
Source: CIA World Factbook

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.