Employment comprises all persons of working age who during a specified brief period, such as one week or one day, were in the following categories: a) paid employment (whether at work or with a job but not at work); or b) self-employment (whether at work or with an enterprise but not at work).
The working-age population is the population above the legal working age, but for statistical purposes it comprises all persons above a specified minimum age threshold for which an inquiry on economic activity is made. To promote international comparability, the working-age population is often defined as all persons aged 15 and older, but this may vary from country to country based on national laws and practices (some countries also use an upper age limit).
The classification by status in employment refers to inherent characteristics of the jobs held by the employed population. Jobs can be classified with respect to the type of explicit or implicit contract of employment the person has with other persons or organizations. The basic criteria used to define the groups of the classification are the type of economic risk and the type of authority over establishments and other workers which the job incumbents have.
Data presented by status in employment is based on the 1993 International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE-93). The ICSE-93 classifies jobs into five main categories, which can be grouped under two main types of jobs: paid employment jobs (employees) and self-employment jobs (employers, own-account workers, contributing family workers and members of producers’ cooperatives). A sixth category is reserved for workers not classifiable by status.
Employees are those workers who hold the type of jobs defined as “paid employment jobs”, where the incumbents hold explicit (written or oral) or implicit employment contracts that give them a basic remuneration that is not directly dependent upon the revenue of the unit for which they work. Employers are those workers who, working on their own account or with one or a few partners, hold the type of jobs defined as a “self- employment jobs” (i.e. jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits derived from the goods and services produced), and, in this capacity, have engaged, on a continuous basis, one or more persons to work for them as employee(s). Own-account workers are those workers who, working on their own account or with one or more partners, hold the type of jobs defined as “self-employment jobs”, and have not engaged on a continuous basis any employees to work for them. Members of producers’ cooperatives are workers who hold “self-employment jobs” in a cooperative producing goods and services. Contributing family workers are those workers who hold “self-employment jobs” as own-account workers in a market-oriented establishment operated by a related person living in the same household.
Statistics on employment by status in employment are presented in ILOSTAT according to both the categories of the ICSE-93 and the two major groups employees and the self-employed.
It is worth noting that the ICSE-93 was updated with ICSE-18, although countries have not yet implemented the latest classification. For information on this classification, refer to the ICSE page.