23 African Countries With The Lowest Unemployment Rates

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Africa is witnessing its best growth performance in decades, but the world’s youngest continent, demographically speaking, continues to have high unemployment with few signs of recovery in 2017.

South Africa invariably comes up in the discussion about jobless rates in Africa, but it makes this list. Two thirds of African countries have higher unemployment.

The continent’s  youth population is expected to double to 830 million by 2050, according to the U.N. agency, International Labour Organization, which brings together governments, employers and workers from 187 member countries to set labor standards, develop policies and promote decent work.

High unemployment is a key factor shaping young people’s decision to migrate abroad permanently.

African youth are more willing than average to move permanently to another country: 38 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and 35 percent in Northern Africa in 2015 compared with 20 percent globally. In sub-Sahara, the percentage of youth willing to migrate ranges from 77 percent in Sierra Leone to 11 percent in Madagascar.

Below we’ve listed 23 African countries with the lowest unemployment rates. We’ve included each country’s ranking for unemployment compared to 201 countries around the world. Cambodia, No. 201 on the list, has zero unemployment. On the other end of the scale is Zimbabwe, with 95 percent unemployment.

As a basis for comparison, the U.S. has 7.3 percent unemployment.

The figures below include unemployment and underemployment data from as far back as Jan. 1, 2014. In some cases, true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Index Mundi, International Labour Organization