The effect of high unemployment rates
Unemployment not only impacts potential workers, but it also impacts their families and the entire country. Their communities lose wages that are needed to support schools, healthcare services, and local government control.
The country also loses the goods or services that could have been produced. This negatively affects the purchasing power of people, which can lead to eventual unemployment of other workers.
Unemployment impacts the opportunity to participate in public life, which has affected millions of women around the world. It has limited their ability to become successful members of the workforce and contributed to further gender inequality.
Below is a list of the world’s top 20 countries with the highest unemployment rates. The chart shows the percentage of both males and females currently participating in their country’s workforce.
The World's 20 Highest Unemployment Rated Countries
Rate W/Male* W/Female** 1. Djibouti 54.00 NA NA 2. Bosnia and Herzegovina 38.68 68.0 43.0 3. Gambia 29.69 83.0 73.0 4. Reunion 29.60 NA NA 5. Kosovo 27.50 NA NA 6. Lesotho 27.42 75.0 61.0 7. South Africa 26.70 63.0 51.0 8. ESwatini 25.28 67.0 43.0 9. Melilla 24.60 NA NA 10. Palestine 24.50 NA NA 11. Mozambique 24.37 75.0 83.0 12. Republic of Macedonia 22.10 78.0 53.0 13. Montenegro 20.94 65.0 52.0 14. Greece 20.90 76.0 60.0 15. Comoros 19.96 NA NA 16. Libya 19.22 NA NA 17. Nigeria 18.80 64.0 49.0 18. Jordan 18.50 68.0 15.0 19. Gabon 18.50 NA NA 20. Botswana 17.6 83.0 77.0
*Working Percentage of Males 15 and Up **Working Percentage of Females 15 and Up
Resource: The World Bank
Taking a closer look
If we were to take a look at the average income of a worker from these countries, the annual income would be $4,309 per year, $359 per month, and $90 per week. The highest earning country is Greece with $22,648 per year and the lowest earning country is Gambia with $529 per year.
Now let’s compare the ratio of men to women who are working. Women are 22% less involved in the workforce and earn 64% less per year.
Similarly to the number of children out of school and illiteracy rates, unemployment also shows a gender bias. This limits the opportunity for women to contribute more to their country’s economy. For 13 of the 20 countries with the highest unemployment rates in Africa, women work 50% longer hours than men, but earn much less.
Will the world’s poverty cycle ever end? There is a possibility, but we need to start with education.