The 8 countries with the highest unemployment rate worldwide

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

The issue of unemployment continues to be a major problem for economies all around the world. Unemployment is measured as the percentage of people who are actively seeking jobs who are not currently employed.

Those who are able to work but are not doing so at the moment are counted in the unemployment rate. In addition to having an effect on individual lives, high unemployment rates can be a major impediment to a country’s development and stability as a whole. 

The unemployment rate fluctuates in response to shifts in the economy rather than influencing or predicting those shifts, making it a lagging indicator. When the economy expands at a healthy clip, employers have plenty of available workers, and the unemployment rate falls. Whenever there is economic turmoil, be it a recession or something else, the job market contracts and the unemployment rate rises.

In this article, we will explore eight countries that have been scuffling with the burden of high unemployment rates, looking into their unusual economic circumstances and the actions being made to handle this critical issue.

The 8 countries with the highest unemployment rate

1. South Africa

The unemployment rate in South Africa, which is often called Africa’s economic superpower, remains persistently high at 29.2 percent. Also, among these nations, it is the second-wealthiest. 

This predicament has arisen due to a number of issues, such as economic inequality, skill mismatches, and slow economic growth. The unemployment situation in South Africa has not been solved despite numerous government attempts and social assistance programs.

2. Djibouti

Despite its strategic position on the Red Sea that allows it to serve as a link between Africa and the Middle East, the small African nation of Djibouti has been struggling with a high unemployment rate at 26.1%.

The government of Djibouti, recognizing the country’s potential as a center for trade and maritime traffic, has been working to increase the number of available jobs and attract foreign investment. However, various obstacles, including a lack of skilled labor and inadequate infrastructure, have slowed their development.

3. Eswatini

Unemployment is a major problem in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), with the young unemployment rate being at 22.7%.

The CIA reports that Eswatini has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate and the worst levels of extreme poverty in the world. The loss of male labor force due to HIV/AIDS is a major factor in the overall decrease in productivity.

Because of its reliance on agriculture, the country is also susceptible to external shocks and variations in global commodity prices. 

To combat high unemployment and promote sustainable economic growth, the government of Eswatini is considering options to broaden the country’s economic base by investing in sectors including manufacturing and tourism.

4. West Bank and Gaza

Long-term effects of a complicated political landscape have crippled the economies of the West Bank and Gaza, leading to alarmingly high unemployment rates of 25.9%.

There is no way to fix the unsustainable economic condition in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Both the economic implications of the COVID-19 epidemic and the political deadlock that has made it difficult for the Palestinian Authority to collect tax income have had lasting effects on the Palestinian economy.

Economic growth and job creation have been stymied in many areas because of ongoing political conflicts, trade restrictions, and a lack of access to resources, leaving thousands without stable employment.

5. Botswana

Botswana has a high unemployment rate of 24.9% despite being one of Africa’s success stories due to its diamond-rich resources. 

While mining has brought many benefits to the country, it has also limited the kind of jobs available. The government is responding by focusing on boosting the tourist and service industries in an effort to create new job opportunities for its inhabitants.

6. Kosovo

The little Balkan nation of Kosovo has suffered for years from an extraordinarily high unemployment rate of 26.2%. Economic growth has been stunted by the fallout of the Kosovo War and political uncertainty, making it difficult for the local labor force to obtain secure employment. 

However, in order to accelerate economic growth and reduce unemployment, the government has been enacting policies to strengthen the private sector, encourage entrepreneurialism, and attract foreign investments.

7. Equatorial Guinea

Unemployment in Equatorial Guinea is extremely high at 25% despite the country’s rich oil and gas assets. Many people in the country are unemployed since the economy is so dependent on the oil industry. 

The government has responded by developing vocational training programs to provide the workers with skills useful in a variety of industries, including agriculture and tourism, and diversifying the economy to reduce reliance on a few.

8. Gabon

The youth unemployment rate in Gabon, a country in Central Africa that is rich in oil, is an alarming 20.4%. 

Because of the country’s long-standing reliance on oil exports, few possibilities exist for citizens outside of the oil industry. 

The government is responding to this threat by prioritizing economic diversification, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening educational programs to better prepare the next generation of workers for a competitive labor market.

Creating an equitable and prosperous future

The plight of the unemployed continues to be felt by millions of people in many nations. Each country has its own unique problems to solve while trying to reduce unemployment, from the economic inequities in South Africa to the geopolitical complications in Djibouti and the reliance on resources in Botswana. 

Governments in these nations are making concerted efforts to address this critical issue through the introduction of new laws and programs in the hopes of securing a more just and prosperous future for their people. But there is still a long way to go, and sustained effort is required to end the unemployment issue in these five countries and beyond.

Read also: New green jobs of the future: a solution to unemployment and climate change 

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