© Marcel Crozet / ILO

Statistics on employment

Table of Contents

See also

Introduction

The importance of employment as a pathway to economic development, social inclusion and well-being has long been recognised. As well as being at the heart of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, employment is a central element in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which places emphasis on promoting productive employment and decent work for all (Goal 8).

In this context, statistics on employment are crucial to monitor progress towards many national and international policy goals. These statistics must not just quantify work and people in employment but also provide meaningful information on the types of jobs people are doing.

The international statistical standards relating to employment have undergone significant changes over time, designed to improve their relevance and depth for policy makers. The most significant of these changes came at the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 2013 when the international community adopted the first statistical definition of work alongside a forms of work framework. Within the new framework, employment is defined as work performed in return for pay or profit. This is narrower than the scope of the previous definition which included some unpaid activities such as subsistence work. 

Data catalogue

Methods

Defining and measuring remote work, telework, work at home and home-based work

Working from a distance and working at home are not new phenomena but the relevance of their measurement has increased, not least due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This notes provide guidance to data producers on how the four different concepts of remote work, telework, work at home and home-based work should be statistically understood, how they relate to each other, and how they can be measured through a household survey.

Publications

Note: Many publications are available only in English. If available in other languages, a new page will open displaying the options on the right. 

World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2023

The report covers the extent and consequences of the labour market disruption caused by overlapping economic and geopolitical crises and analyzes global patterns, regional differences and outcomes across groups of workers.

The working poor… or how a job is no guarantee of decent living conditions

This issue of ILOSTAT’s Spotlight on work statistics focuses on employed people living in extreme poverty around the world. Using ILO’s global estimates of employment by economic class, it shows the great progress achieved during the last few decades in reducing working poverty in the world, and how more effort is still needed to completely eradicate it, particularly considering the strong regional disparities.

Where are the jobs?

This brief casts light on the trends in employment by sector and occupation, by focusing first on the broad sectors and occupations at the global level before moving on to analysing regional patterns.

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Use the search box and filters above the table

Use the search box to enter key words; use quotes around your term for better results. Available filters differ depending on the catalogue. Selecting a frequency allows users to find monthly, quarterly, or annual indicators. While all indicators are available for annual periods, only a subset are available as monthly or quarterly. 

Options to access data

Data Explorer

This tool provides an intuitive interface to filter the selection, pivot the table, calculate distributions and growth rates, and export data into various formats.

Excel summary

Data available in the Excel summary files are for indicators only (not available for countries or regions) for selected classification items for 2010 onward for annual data and 2018 onward for short-term indicators. For historical data or additional classifications, either use the Data Explorer or download the CSV file. 

Country profiles

Available in the country catalogue only, this option takes users to the country profiles page with the selected country pre-filtered in the table. Highlighting the latest year available for key indicators, this is a subset of the available data for a given country.

Zipped csv (gz)

Download a zipped CSV file (gzip) to get data in bulk. These files contain only codes. Download the dictionary with labels here

There are other options to access data in the data tools section

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