How global unemployment has changed after the 2008 crisis

Data source:


World hasn’t run the same way in the past years. Although the most developed countries soffered the consequences of the financial crisis, a large part of the developing world made progress in terms of GDP and job opportunities.

This infographic does not display the best countries where to look for a job: it shows which countries did have the best results in terms of unemployment percentage, in the period 2008-2014; and which the worst. In blue, you can see states where the % of unemployment rate got better; in red, where it got worse. Another important note: states with the same percentage not necessarily have the same unemployment rate. To be clear: UK (+1.8% in these 6 years) has a 7.4% as unemployment rate. Ukraine improved (-0.7%) but it’s still at 7.6%. We are looking at trends, rather than steady data.

These trends don’t mean that blue countries necessarily improved their working conditions or got higher salaries. However, they show how dozens million people found a job, in the period that the Western world use to call ‘collapse‘ or ‘depression’. The best results can be found in India (-4.2% in terms of unemployment), Brazil (-3.3%) and not surprisingly Germany (-3.1%). USA had a rising unemployment after 2008, but now America reduced its percentage loss to 1.7%

As you can see, some states on the map are omitted: it’s the case for countries in war in the past years or right now (Afghanistan, Syria, Libya) or for countries with insufficient data for a comparative analysis (the greatest part of Africa).

Perhaps, the most interesting considerations may be made regarding Europe:


Germany is the extraordinary exception in the old continent, with 3 percentage points gained in terms of unemployment since 2008. UK and Scandinavia are OK, but Southern Europe had a job loss explosion: 6 points in Italy, 17,5 points in Spain, 19,5 in Greece. Not even France is at the 2008 level.

However, if you look at another part of the globe, you can find a completely different situation:


There is no Southern American country where unemployment got worse: from Chile to Venezuela, in every state the unemployment percentage changed for the best. Once more, this does not mean that Argentina, for instance, has an outstanding economic performance.

And what about Asia?


Pretty blue, again. China had no variation between early 2008 and now (obviously data fluctuate during the time range). Better results are signed by India, but also by Indonesia, Turkey and a large part of the former Soviet Union.

So yes, it’s been for sure a hard time for USA and Europe, but world has changed differently in other areas and regions. In some cases for the best.

Addition: the USA map state by state


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