Work comprises any activity performed by persons of any sex and age to produce goods or to provide services for use by others or for own use.

  • Work is defined irrespective of its formal or informal character or the legality of the activity.
  • Work excludes activities that do not involve producing goods or services (e.g. begging and stealing), self-care (e.g. personal grooming and hygiene) and activities that cannot be performed by another person on one’s own behalf (e.g. sleeping, learning and activities for own recreation).
  • The concept of work is aligned with the General production boundary as defined in the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and its concept of economic unit that distinguishes between:
    • market units (i.e. corporations, quasi-corporations and household unincorporated market enterprises 2 );
    • non-market units (i.e. government and non-profit institutions serving households); and
    • households that produce goods or services for own final use.
  • Work can be performed in any kind of economic unit.

For more information, refer to the Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization.

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