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Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Last updated on: November 25, 2010 14:51 IST

Image: Children in Zimbabwe.
Photographs: Reuters.


Zimbabwe has the world's highest unemployment rate of 95 per cent as of 2009.

As a result of poverty and unemployment, the country has become a hotbed of criminal activity.

From being one of Africa's robust economies, it fell to be among the world's worst nations after a prolonged war with Congo.

Though unemployment is a major issue in India, the country is not among the ones with the higest unemployment rates.

Incidentally, Zimbabwe has also suffered from the highest inflation rates in recent times. In late 2008, it registered an inflation rate of 11.2 million per cent!

Click NEXT to find out India's unemployment rate...

(Zimbabwe's unemployment figures of 2010 not yet available)

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Bashir Ahmad Mir, unemployed Kashmiri doctor, tried self immolation to demand for jobs in Srinagar.
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters.


Unemployment rate: 9.4%

Post-recession, the unemployment rate in India is at 9.4 per cent during 2009-10, according to the Union Labour and Employment Ministry.

About 40 million persons are unemployed in India as per the government's statistics.

The unemployment rates are estimated at 101 and 73 out of 1,000 persons in the rural sector and urban areas, respectively.

Meanwhile, the global youth unemployment has reached its highest level on record, and is expected to rise, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Of the 620 million economically active youth aged 15 to 24 years, 81 million were unemployed at the end of 2009 -- the highest number ever.

Click NEXT to find out the countries with the highest unemployment rate...

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Unemployed workers spend the night in front of the Macedonian Parliament during a protest.
Photographs: Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters.

Macedonia: Rank 1 (as per a study of 15 nations; figures pertain to 2010)

Note: Zimbabwe has not been ranked as the unemployment rate for 2010 are not available for the country.

Unemployment rate: 33.8%
Total unemployment rate: 65.2%

According to a study by 24/7 Wall St, Macedonia in southeastern Europe tops the list of 15 countries with the highest unemployment rates.

Macedonia hit hard by the economic recession in 2009 has the highest unemployment rate of 33.8 per cent. The unemployment rate is 65.2 per cent including the disabled and elderly people.

Macedonia is a small nation with a gross domestic product (GDP) of about $9.4 billion.

Today, about 40 per cent of the people in Macedonia live in rural areas and their income depends on crop and livestock production.

The unemployment rate refers to those who earlier had a job, are still of employable age but have lost their job. The total figure includes all those who are of employable age but are either engaged otherwise, that is studying, or are unlikely to look for a job (housewives), or suffer from severe deformity and are not looking for a job.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A family in Armenia.
Armenia: Rank 2

Unemployment rate: 28.6%
Total unemployment rate: 61.9%

Following a drop in international metal prices, Armenia's economy plunged into a crisis, resulting in unemployment and poverty.

During 2001-2007, the country's GDP grew at a robust 13 per cent. The economy is now limping back to normalcy.

. . .

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A boy sits on the front steps of his house in a slum in Algiers.
Photographs: Louafi Larbi/Reuters.
Algeria: Rank 3

Unemployment rate: 27.3%
Total unemployment rate: 50.7%

The unemployment rate in Algeria has increased to 27.3 per cent. In 2009, the country initiated several schemes to tackle unemployment, but most of them are yet to bear fruit.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A Palestinian woman throws olives in the air as she works in the village of Deir Al-Hatab.
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip: Rank 4

Unemployment rate: 25.7%
Total unemployment rate: 69.8%

The West Bank and Gaza Strip is one of the most unstable regions in the world.

The region ravaged by conflicts has seen unemployment rates rise from 5 per cent in the mid-1990s to 25.7 per cent in 2010.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: An idle worker walks through a damaged hall of the Sarabon chocolate factory in Sarajevo.
Photographs: Danilo Krstanovic/Reuters.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Rank 5

Unemployment rate: 23.4%
Total unemployment rate: 58.5%

Bosnia and Herzegovina is amongst the poorest countries in Europe.

It faces the challenge of rebuilding a war-torn country and introducing market reforms. Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, has one of the highest income equality ranking in the world.

. . . 

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Men hold placards offering temporal employment in Glenvista, near Johannesburg.
Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters.
South Africa: Rank 6

Unemployment rate: 22.9%
Total unemployment rate: 58.9%

South Africa lost 900,000 jobs in 2009 due to the recession. South Africa has a two-tiered economy; one competing with other developed countries while the other have only basic infrastructure.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Poor people in Namibia.
Namibia: Rank 7

Unemployment rate: 22%
Total unemployment rate: 57.1%

The Namibian economy has a modern market sector and it gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is relatively high among developing countries.

People in the age group of 15-24 years are the most affected by the unemployment crisis.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Two citizens of Medellin protest over an improvised coffin against the unemployment in Columbia.
Photographs: Reuters.
Colombia: Rank 8

Unemployment rate: 20.5%
Total unemployment rate: 34%

Colombia is a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to the United States.

The economy has experienced positive growth over the past three years despite a serious armed conflict.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A family in Botswana.
Botswana: Rank 9

Unemployment rate: 17.6%
Total unemployment rate: 54%

Botswana has enjoyed one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income, it has now slowed considerably due to the global economic slowdown.

Economic growth averaged 9 per cent per year from 1967-2006, but slowed during 2007 and 2008 before falling by about 4-5 per cent in 2009.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: An Iraqi woman sits on a cart loaded with food scraps in a rubbish dump.
Photographs: Ali Abu Shish/Reuters.
Iraq: Rank 10

Unemployment rate: 17.5%
Total unemployment rate: 62.9%

An oil rich country, Iraq had foreign exchange reserves to the tune of $35 billion in 1980 before the Iraq-Iran war.

The war wrecked the economy. Ten year down the line, when oil exports started picking up, Iraq again waged a war with Kuwait, pulling down the economy again.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Georgia faces a crisis.
Georgia: Rank 11

Unemployment Rate: 16.5%
Total unemployment rate: 45.7%

One of the most prosperous areas of the Soviet Union, Georgia has been devastated by a political turmoil.

The cumulative decline in real GDP is estimated to have been more than 70 per cent between 1990 and 1994, and by the end of 1996, Georgia's economy had shrunk to around one-third of its size in 1989.

. . .

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A fisherman carries a swordfish to the local fish market in Aden.
Photographs: Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters.
Yemen: Rank 12

Unemployment Rate: 16.1%
Total unemployment rate: 61%

With an unemployment rate at 16.1 per cent, about 50 per cent of the youth between 18-28 years of age, is jobless.

The government expects national unemployment rate will decrease in 2011 and 2012.

Today, about 32 per cent of Yemen's population is estimated to be undernourished and insecure about food as prices remain high, says the World Bank.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A five-year old Croatian boy plays an accordion to get some money for a Christmas gift.
Photographs: Reuters.
Croatia: Rank 13

Unemployment Rate: 14.8%
Total unemployment rate: 54.1%

A service-based economy, Croatia slipped into a recession leading to a high unemployment rate.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Hawkers in Tunisia.
Tunisia: Rank 14

Unemployment Rate: 14.2%
Total unemployment rate: 59%

Tunisia's unemployment rate has continued to be among the higest in the last two decades.

It is an export-oriented country, in the process of liberalising and privatising its economy.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: People in Burundi.
Burundi: Rank 15

Unemployment Rate: 14%
Total unemployment rate: 15.8%

In Burundi, the civil war between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups has devastated the economy. Poverty and unemployment rate are at record highs. It has one of the lowest standards of living in the world.

Click NEXT to find out about the unemployment rates of the United States of America and China . . .

Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: A homeless man who cannot speak, holds up a piece of paper explaining why many people are homeless.
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters.

United States

Unemployment rate: 9.6%

The unemployment rate in the United States stands at 9.6 per cent in October.

The Federal Reserve has now cut its growth forecasts for the US economy and raised projections for unemployment in the coming years.

The US central bank's board also said it could take five or six years for growth and unemployment to return to normalcy.


Nations with the highest unemployment rate

Image: Unemployed women attend a workshop on babysitting skills in Shenyang.
Photographs: Sheng Li/Reuters.


Unemployment rate: 4.20%

China, the world's second-largest economy after United States has a low unemployment rate of 4.20 per cent.

From 2002 until 2010, China's unemployment rate averaged 4.15 per cent reaching an historical high of 4.30 per cent in December of 2003.