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INFORMAL SECTOR – ILO

Statistics Directorate    
French Equivalent: Secteur informel – BIT

Definition:
The informal sector is broadly characterised as consisting of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and incomes to the persons concerned.

These units typically operate at a low level of organisation, with little or no division between labour and capital as factors of production and on a small scale. Labour relations - where they exist - are based mostly on casual employment, kinship or personal and social relations rather than contractual arrangements with formal guarantees.

Context:
This broad definition is operationalised for statistical purposes and the informal sector defined as comprising those household unincorporated enterprises with market production that are:

- informal own account enterprises (optionally, all, or those that are not registered under specific forms of national legislation);

- enterprises of informal employers (optionally, all those with less than a specified level of employment and/or not registered and/or employees not registered (International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolutions Concerning Statistics of Employment in the Informal Sector Adopted by the 15th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, January 1993, paras. 5, 8 and 9).

Source Publication:
International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolutions Concerning Statistics of Employment in the Informal Sector Adopted by the 15th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, January 1993, para. 5.

Cross References:
Illegal production
Informal sector – SNA
Underground economy

Version Indicator: ILO

Statistical Theme: National accounts

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Thursday, March 06, 2003