International Labor Comparisons

International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, 1970-2012

Technical notes (PDF)
Country notes (PDF)
Tables by indicator (XLS), and tables by country (XLS)

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Elimination of ILC
  • BLS has eliminated the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program. This is the last scheduled release of new data on international comparisons of labor force statistcs.


The unemployment rate is the unemployed as a percentage of the labor force; it is the most widely used measure of an economy’s unused labor supply. In 2012, the United States had the 6th highest unemployment rate of the 16 countries covered. Spain ranked the highest followed closely by South Africa, while the Republic of Korea maintained the lowest unemployment rate for the year. For more details on unemploy-ment rates, see page 2 or the Technical Notes.