Employment-to-population ratio

Employment-to-population ratio

The Employment-to-population ratio is a statistical ratio which measures the proportion of the country's working-age population that is employed.


The ratio is used to evaluate the ability of the economy to create jobs and therefore is used in conjunction with the unemployment rate and the employment rate for a general evaluation of the labour market stance. Having a high ratio means that an important proportion of the population in working age is employed, which in general will have positive effects on the GDP per head. Nevertheless, the ratio does not give an indication of working conditions, number of hours worked per person, earnings or the size of the black market. Therefore, the analysis of the labour market must be done in conjunction with other statistics.

To calculate the Employment-to-population ratio, one must first calculate the number of individuals in working-age, that is, over 15 years, and collect data on the number of employed people.

Employment-to-population ratio in the world

In general, a high ratio is considered to be above 70 percent of the working-age population whereas a ratio below 50 percent is considered to be low. The economies with low ratios are generally situated in the Middle East and North Africa.

Employment-to-population ratios are typically higher for men than for women. Nevertheless, in the past decades, the ratios tended to fall for men and increase in the case of women, which made the differences between both to be reduced.

Source: "OECD Employment Outlook 2006". Statistical Annex, p. 248. [http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/53/15/36900060.pdf]

ee also

*Dependency ratio
*Employment rate

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