Policy highlights:

  • Informal employment has a harmful effect on underemployment levels, workers’ rights (e.g. social protection and decent working conditions), and does not lead to sustainable businesses, public revenue, or effective policies and markets (e.g. lack of access to credit and markets, which is common in informal markets, leads to low productivity). This report presents a wide range of statistics that can be used to inform labour market policies.
  • Globally, 61.2% of the world’s employed population (2 billion people) work in the informal sector. Countries with higher levels of informality score lower on the Human Development Index. Within countries, the poor are more likely to be employed in the informal economy.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, informal employment accounts for 85.8% of all employment. The report’s findings include that statistics informality dynamics differ according to: 1) gender (89.7% among women, 82.7% among men), 2) age (94.9% among persons between ages 15 and 24 in employment and 96.0% among persons aged 65 and older), 3) education level (94.0% of those with no education are employed informally, which drops to 88.5% for those with primary education), and 4) across sectors (97.9% of the agricultural sector in Africa is informal, industry represents 77.4% and the service sector 70.2%).
  • Recommendations for policymakers include: 1) making full, decent, productive and freely chosen employment a central goal in the national employment policy, and 2) collecting, analysing and disseminating statistics on the size and composition of the informal economy disaggregated by sex, age, workplace, and other socio-economic characteristics.
Connected themes
Share this post

Related items

youth at work 2 pager
Youth @ Work: 5 pathways for change

How to address the African missing job crisis through green and digital jobs, while assuring that none is left behind? INCLUDE's recently published evidence synthesis paper series provides a number of potential solutions: they were discussed in the webinar series Youth@Work, from which we present five key insights.

Maya Turolla Profile
AERC Regional Policy Forum summary

The AERC hosted a virtual Regional Policy Forum on 28 March 2022. The forum brought together key stakeholders who play important roles in shaping new research findings, paving new policy directions, and initiating innovative practices in the areas of youth and employment.

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

The INCLUDE team’s reading list: March 2022 Every month we share with our readers a…

cairo-workers
Identifying Economic Sectors to Create Employment for Youth in Africa: key findings from selected country cases

Growth Sectors for Youth Employment (GSYE) is an African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) collaborative research…

John_maara_Photo_
The world youngest continent is looking for work

The African continent is undergoing an important demographic transformation that will, for the better or the worse, drastically change its labor market. According to the World Bank, every year 12 million young people enter the job market while only 3 million formal jobs are created. With a median age of 25 years old, the African continent is the youngest in the world.

Maya Turolla Profile