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  • Updated: December 13, 2023

Ten countries with the highest unemployment rate in 2023

Ten countries with the highest unemployment rate in 2023

The number of workers in the labour force who are actively seeking employment but are not employed is known as the unemployment rate. 

This figure excludes retirees and students who are not actively seeking employment, as well as those who have given up on obtaining employment. 

However, because various nations categorise unemployment using different methods, it can be difficult to compare unemployment rates across national borders. 

For instance, despite frequently being ranked as the least developed nation in the world, Niger has the third lowest unemployment rate in the world. 

This is because the bulk of the population farms for subsistence, with few opportunities for paid work.

Conflict is a key factor contributing to unemployment in these nations. 

People who have been internally displaced (IDPs) in particular desire to work, but relocating to a new area of the nation disturbs their network of business contacts and places them in an area with a distinct labour market. 

Low GDP per capita indicates a country's approximate level of economic development. These nations typically have high unemployment rates since they have fewer options in the labour market.    



We made sure that this list is based on accurate and dependable facts by using the World Bank's online unemployment figures to determine the top ten nations with the highest rates of unemployment. 

By going over each country's GDP as it appears on its economic website, we have also added more detail to our list. 

The World Bank's online data for the most current year—2023, for all ten countries—was used to obtain the unemployment rates.


Below are the top ten countries with the highest unemployment rate in 2023


10. Somalia

Unemployment Rate: 20%

Being among the least developed nations in Africa, the nation requires more foreign investments, and because of limited access to high-quality education, unemployment is still a serious issue for the country.

9. Libya

Unemployment Rate: 20.7%

Libya's unemployment rate peaked in 2022 at 20.7%, according to World Bank estimates, while youth unemployment rose to around 50%. Since the Libyan civil war in 2011, the nation has also had to deal with political unrest and humanitarian catastrophes.

8. Botswana

Unemployment Rate: 20.7%

Botswana continues to have a high unemployment rate of more than 20% even though its economy is one of the strongest in the world. 

Due to the nation's heavy reliance on the mining industry, particularly for diamonds, the economy has found it difficult to diversify, which has resulted in high unemployment and limited economic diversity. It's among the nations with the greatest rates of joblessness.

7. Namibia

Unemployment Rate: 20.8%

With a $12.6 billion GDP, uranium mining accounts for 30% of Namibia's GDP and more than 50% of its foreign profits. 

The two primary causes of unemployment are population growth that isn't steady and unstable economic development.

6. Gabon

Unemployment Rate: 21.5%

Gabon, a country abundant in natural resources, ranks fourth in Sub-Saharan Africa for oil production. 

The primary reason unemployment persists despite steady economic development and a GDP of $21.07 billion is a shortage of private sector jobs.


5. Republic of Congo

Unemployment Rate: 21.8%

Situated on the western coast of central Africa lies the Republic of Congo. The two primary economic sectors of Congo are agriculture and subsistence farming. 

The GDP of the nation was around $58.07 billion in 2022. This nation has one of the highest jobless rates in the world.


4. Eswatini

Unemployment Rate: 24.4%

Eswatini, a landlocked nation in South Africa, has a diversified economy with a $4.85 billion GDP made up of public services, manufacturing, mining, forestry, and agriculture; high unemployment and poverty are caused by a lack of job development in the official sector.


3. West Bank and Gaza

Unemployment Rate: 25.7%

With a GDP of $19.11 billion, the Palestinian territories continue suffering from economic hardship, widespread conflict and violence, and political instability. 

According to a report by the IMF, the forecasted growth rate for 2023 is 3.5% and will eventually slow down to its potential rate of 2% due to the restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of goods and people.


2. Djibouti

Unemployment Rate: 27.9%

Due to its advantageous location near the Red Sea's mouth, Djibouti has grown to be a major trading hub. 

Djibouti, a barren nation with a $3.5 billion GDP that contributes little to the industrial and agricultural sectors due to a lack of resources, is marked by poverty and unemployment.


1. South Africa

Unemployment Rate: 29.8%

South Africa's economy is the second biggest in Africa, and it has made significant contributions to the industrial and technical domains. 

Nevertheless, the nation has had unemployment rates above 20% for some time. Research indicates that the South African labour market is limited to a few industries, which prevents many new businesses from joining the market and ultimately has an impact on employment creation.  

In addition, problems with property rights, corruption, and bureaucracy have made it difficult to find work.  It is the nation with the highest unemployment rate in the world. 

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