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A Look at International Labor and Unemployment

Globe.jpgWith Labor Day coming up on September 5, CIA.gov is highlighting labor statics from around the world, using information found in The World FactbookCIA’s reference resource. Here’s a glimpse into the types of work people perform around the world and the availability of opportunities to work in different countries.

The International Labor Force

The World Factbook divides Labor Force into a few key occupations:

  • agriculture, which includes farming, fishing, and forestry;
  • industry, which includes mining, manufacturing, energy production and construction; and
  • services, which includes government activities, communications, transportation, finances and all other economic activities that do not pertain to goods.

Of the roughly 7 billion people in the world, about 3.27 billion are in the labor force.

  • Approximately 1.18 billion (36.2%) work in the agricultural sector, 0.70 billion (21.4%) in industry, and 1.39 billion (42.4%) in services.
  • Differences between developing and developed countries are dramatic. By definition, developing countries have far more people engaged in agricultural activities, and a much greater proportion engaged in various services in the developed world as the table below shows.

Take a look at the ten countries/regions with the largest labor forces.

Rank

Country/Region

Labor Force

By Occupation

1

China

795,500,000

agriculture: 36.7%

industry: 28.7%

services: 34.6% (2008 est.)

2

India

487,600,000

agriculture: 52%

industry: 14%

services: 34% (2009 est.)

3

European Union

228,400,000

agriculture: 4.7%

industry: 28.7%

services: 66.6% (2010 est.)

4

United States*

153,600,000

agriculture: 0.7%

industry: 20.3%

services: 79.1(2009 est.)

5

Indonesia

117,400,000

agriculture: 38.3%

industry: 12.8%

services: 48.9% (2010 est.)

6

Brazil

104,700,000

 

agriculture: 20%

industry: 14%

services: 66% (2003 est.)

7

Bangladesh

75,420,000

agriculture: 45%

industry: 30%

services: 25% (2008 est.)

8

Russia

75,410,000

agriculture: 9.8%

industry: 27.5%

services: 62.7% (2010 est.)

9

Japan

65,930,000

agriculture: 3.9%

industry: 26.2%

services: 69.8% (2010 est.)

 

10

Pakistan

58,410,000

agriculture: 45%

industry: 20.1%

services: 34.9% (2010 est.)

*Note: Percentages may not add to 100 because of rounding. For the United States entry, industry includes: manufacturing, extraction, crafts and transportation. The Services sector is composed of three occupational clusters: managerial, professional and technical (37.3%); sales and office (24.2%); and other services (17.6%). For most other countries, transportation is included in the services sector.

 

Countries Leading in Unemployment

Unemployment varies considerably across countries, with much greater unemployment— and underemployment—in the developing regions. After the onset of the global recession in 2008, global unemployment climbed about 2 percentage points to 9.1% in 2011.

Take a look at where the countries with the largest labor forces fall regarding unemployment rates.

Country/Region

Unemployment Rate1

International Unemployment Rank

Japan

4.6%

47

Bangladesh

5%

49

Pakistan

5.6%

57

China

6.5%

60

Brazil

6%

63

Indonesia

6.6%

73

Russia

6.6%

74

United States

9%

103

European Union2

9.5%

106

India

9.8%

109

1According to 2011 official estimates.

2Unemployment levels for the 27 countries that compose the European Union vary widely.

To view the full list of countries according to international unemployment ranking, see the country comparison chart in The World Factbook.


Historical Document
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 09:02 AM
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2013 01:01 PM