Statistics on unemployment and supplementary measures of labour underutilization

The unemployment rate is probably the best-known labour market measure and is certainly one of the most widely quoted by the media. The unemployment rate is a useful measure of the underutilization of the labour supply. It reflects the inability of an economy to generate employment for those persons who want to work but are not doing so, even though they are available for employment and actively seeking work.

Other measures of labour underutilization recognized in the international statistical standards are time-related underemployment and the potential labour force.

Table of contents

Featured publication

Labour market access - a persitent challenge for youth around the world

Labour market access - a persistent challenge for youth around the world

The fifth issue of our series Spotlight on work statistics uses the first ever global estimates of youth not in employment, education or training along with other youth labour market indicators to explore the situation of youth in labour markets around the world, and unveil the additional challenges they face.


Data

Methods

Sources and Methods Volume 3A: Household surveys (2004) – Economically active population, employment, unemployment and hours of work

This volume presents national methodological descriptions of statistics of employment, unemployment, underemployment, hours of work and other indicators derived from labour force and household surveys, disseminated on ILOSTAT. It is a revised and updated version of the second edition issued in 1990. This third edition contains descriptions for 83 countries.


Resolution concerning the measurement of underemployment and inadequate employment situations

Resolution concerning the measurement of underemployment and inadequate employment situations

Adopted by the 16th ICLS (1998), this resolution revises the existing standards on the measurement of underemployment and broadens the scope to cover also inadequate employment situations, in order to enhance the standards’ usefulness as technical guidelines to countries and improving the international comparability of the statistics.


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Data available in the Excel summary files are for indicators only (not available for countries or regions) for selected classification items for 2010 onward for annual data and 2018 onward for short-term indicators. For historical data or additional classifications, either use the Data Explorer or download the CSV file. 

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