Choose categories from the dropdowns below to see different breakdowns of the data. Some will not be available until a higher level is chosen.

Download Headline CSV Download Source CSV

Headline data

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from Lao PDR statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from Lao statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other Lao-specific metadata information.


SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all


8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.


8.5.2 Unemployment rate by sex


Unemployment rate

Metadata update

23 May 2021

Related indicators

Any economic statistics that is used for other SDG indicator 


Lao Statistics Bureau

Contact person(s)

Mr.Vilaysook SISOULATH

Contact organisation unit

Department of Social Statistics

Contact person function

Deputy Director General

Contact phone

+856 20 55 795 043

+856 21 214 740

Contact mail

Ministry of Planning and Investment

Lao Statistics Bureau, Dongnachokphuea Village, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital Province. Tel: (+856 21) 214740, Fax: (+856 21) 242022.

Contact email

Definition and concepts


The unemployment rate conveys the percentage of persons in the labour force who are unemployed.


Unemployed persons are defined as all those of working age (usually aged 15 and above) who were not in employment, carried out activities to seek employment during a specified recent period and were currently available to take up employment given a job opportunity, where: (a) “not in employment” is assessed with respect to the short reference period for the measurement of employment; (b) to “seek employment” refers to any activity when carried out, during a specified recent period comprising the last four weeks or one month, for the purpose of finding a job or setting up a business or agricultural undertaking; (c) the point when the enterprise starts to exist should be used to distinguish between search activities aimed at setting up a business and the work activity itself, as evidenced by the enterprise’s registration to operate or by when financial resources become available, the necessary infrastructure or materials are in place or the first client or order is received, depending on the context; (d) “currently available” serves as a test of readiness to start a job in the present, assessed with respect to a short reference period comprising that used to measure employment (depending on national circumstances, the reference period may be extended to include a short subsequent period not exceeding two weeks in total, so as to ensure adequate coverage of unemployment situations among different population groups).

Persons in employment are defined as all those of working age (usually aged 15 and above) who, during a short reference period such as one week or one day, were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit.

The labour force corresponds to the sum of persons in employment and in unemployment.

For more information on the definitions of employment and unemployment refer to the Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization Adopted by the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

Unit of measure

Percent (%)

Data sources

The Labor Force Survey 2017

Data collection method

The Labor Force Survey that was implemented in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 2017 (LFS 2017) adopts the new concept of work, employment and labor underutilization that was adopted by the19th International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS) in 2013.

Data collection calendar

December of each year, next data collection is on December 2021

Data release calendar

Six months after the reference year, next release is on June 2022

Data providers

Lao Statistics Bureau

Data compilers

Lao Statistics Bureau

Institutional mandate

Data collection, processing, dissemination and use of statistics for this indicator is in accordance with the Statistics Law 2017; the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Statistical System (NSSDSS) 2016-2020; and the Vision for 2030.


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. It is thus seen as an indicator of the efficiency and effectiveness of an economy to absorb its labour force and of the performance of the labour market. Short-term time series of the unemployment rate can be used to signal changes in the business cycle; upward movements in the indicator often coincide with recessionary periods or in some cases with the beginning of an expansionary period as persons previously not in the labour market begin to test conditions through an active job search. 

Comment and limitations

Caveats and limitations inherent to estimates based on national accounts and survey data apply.


Standard data review and validation protocols were implemented from data collection, processing, calculation to finalization and publication of the results of the GDP and population estimates.

Methods and guidance available to countries for the compilation of the data at the national level


  • Population: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 



  • GDP: 2008 SNA 



Population: Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses See

Quality management

Managing the quality of the indicator is guided by the Lao PDR Statistics Law of 2017 and in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.

Quality assurance

Data are validated in accordance with the international statistical standards

Quality assessment

The estimates derived for each year are compared to previous years to ensure that estimates are prepared consistently from year to year. Additionally, the growth rate from year to year is analyzed to identify anomalies in the data.

In general, the quality of the results is considered good given the quality management and standards implemented in the basic data source used for obtaining the value for this SDG indicator. 

Data availability and disaggregation

The Labor Force Survey have been conducted at five-year intervals since 2010

Disaggregated by Location (U/R), sex and age group.

Comparability/deviation from international standards

Please see item 4.b

References and Documentation


Lao Statistical Information Service for GDP

Lao PDR Statistics Law, 2017

The UNSD SDG Indicators, Metadata repository

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.