The Percentage of Total Labor Force Unemployed, Explained

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It is estimated that at any given time, a significant section of the labor force is unemployed due to a varying number of factors such as retrenchment, illness or any other factor. In fact, when it comes to the unemployment of the labor force, it simply means the number of people having no work –  and is not related to lack of required talent, or skill or unavailability of people seeking work.

According to a 2014 World Bank data, the Middle Eastern kingdom of Qatar witnessed a 0.3 percent of the total labor force being unemployed. The southeast Asian nation of Cambodia followed closely behind with just 0.4 percent of its labor force unemployed.

The other nations where the total percentage of the unemployed labor force formed one percent or less than it were Rwanda, Thailand and Benin. While the emerging economy India witnessed 3.6 percent of its labor force unemployed, the rate in Japan was slightly higher at 3.7.

The industrialized and well-developed nations of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada witnessed in 2014 some 6.2, 6.3, 5 and 6.9 percent of its labor force unemployed.

Meanwhile, Mauritania stood at the higher side reporting about 31 percent of its labor force unemployed. A few other nations that according to the World Bank data had more than 20 percent of its labor force unemployed included Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, South Africa, Spain, and Serbia to name a few.

The world, when taken as a whole, witnessed some 5.9 percent of the labor force unemployed. But this was down from the 6.3 percent of total unemployment that was reported in 1991. In terms of regions, the Euro area witnessed a whopping 11.5 percent of the labor force unemployed, while in South Asia it was just 3.9 percent.

(Data sourced from World Bank)

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