The framework on work statistics has been widely publicized over the years, particularly to data producers and policymakers, as it was designed to improve labour market and gender analysis. But little has been said to data users interested in international comparisons. Until now. Here is the ILOSTAT solution to handling the impacts of revised definitions occurring on different schedules across the globe.
How many men and women were employed last week? How many hours did they work in their main jobs? And how many hours did they work in unpaid activities such as caring for children? These are seemingly straightforward questions but measuring paid and unpaid work through household surveys is anything but straightforward. This holds true especially for women in developing countries, who are more often engaged in informal activities such as microenterprises or small-scale farming — activities that can fall through the cracks of traditional surveys.
The data is abundantly clear on one point: the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on women. Because more women work in the tourism, retail, and informal sectors, which have been hardest hit by the pandemic, their livelihoods have been upended. Understanding the extent of this impact is the first step in reversing course. Yet the pandemic has also exposed and exacerbated data gaps that undermine our ability to act intentionally and craft effective policy responses.