© Marcel Crozet/ ILO
© 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

Related pages

ICSE-18 e-manual

ICSE-18 e-manual Table of contents What’s new? Background In October 2018, the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) adopted the Resolution concerning statistics on work

Publications

Many publications are available in English only. Click on the + sign for other languages, if available, and additional information. 

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Use filters above the table

Use the search box to enter key words; use quotes around your term for better results. Use filters for the database and subject and select a frequency 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 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. 

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