Contributing family workers, total (% of total employed)

Definition: 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.

Description: The map below shows how Contributing family workers, total (% of total employed) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Ethiopia, with a value of 48.70. The country with the lowest value in the world is Iceland, with a value of 0.00.

Source: International Labour Organization, Key Indicators of the Labour Market database.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Breaking down employment information by status in employment provides a statistical basis for describing workers' behaviour and conditions of work, and for defining an individual's socio-economic group.2A high proportion of wage and salaried workers in a country can signify advanced economic development. If the proportion of own-account workers (self-employed without hired employees) is sizeable, it may be an indication of a large agriculture sector and low growth in the formal economy. Contributing family work is a form of labour - generally unpaid, although compensation might come indirectly in the form of family income - that supports production for the market. It is particularly common among women, especially women in households where other members engage in self-employment, specifically in running a family business or in farming. Where large shares of workers are contributing family workers, there is likely to be poor development, little job growth, widespread poverty and often a large rural economy. Despite much progress in recent decades, gender inequalities remain pervasive in many dimensions of life - worldwide. But while disparities exist throughout the world, they are most prevalent in developing countries. Gender inequalities in the allocation of such resources as education, health care, nutrition, and political voice matter because of the strong association with well-being, productivity, and economic growth. These patterns of inequality begin at an early age, with boys routinely receiving a larger share of education and health spending than do girls, for example. Women's wage work is important for economic growth and the well-being of families. But women often face such obstacles as restricted access to credit markets, capital, land, and training and education; time constraints due to traditional family responsibilities; and labor market bias and discrimination. These obstacles force women to limit their full participation in paid economic activities, to be less productive, and to receive lower wages.

Limitations and Exceptions: There are many differences in how countries define and measure employment status, particularly members of the armed forces, self-employed workers, and unpaid family workers. Where members of the armed forces are included, they are allocated to the service sector, causing that sector to be somewhat overstated relative to the service sector in economies where they are excluded. Where data are obtained from establishment surveys, data cover only employees; thus self-employed and unpaid family workers are excluded. In such cases the employment share of the agricultural sector is severely underreported. Caution should be also used where the data refer only to urban areas, which record little or no agricultural work. Moreover, the age group and area covered could differ by country or change over time within a country. For detailed information, consult the original source. According to ILO, unpaid family workers at work should be considered as in self-employment irrespective of the number of hours worked during the reference period. Countries which prefer for special reasons to set a minimum time criterion for the inclusion of unpaid family workers among the employed should identify and separately classify those who worked less than the prescribed time. The reference period of a census or survey is another important source of differences: in some countries data refer to people's status on the day of the census or survey or during a specific period before the inquiry date, while in others data are recorded without reference to any period. In developing countries, where the household is often the basic unit of production and all members contribute to output, but some at low intensity or irregularly, the estimated labor force may be much smaller than the numbers actually working.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Unpaid family workers, or contributing family workers, are based on the data of status in employment. The indicator of status in employment distinguishes between two categories of the total employed. These are: (a) wage and salaried workers (also known as employees); and (b) self-employed workers. Self-employed group is broken down in the subcategories: self-employed workers with employees (employers), self-employed workers without employees (own-account workers), members of producers' cooperatives and contributing family workers (also known as unpaid family workers). Employment is defined as persons above a specified age who performed any work at all, in the reference period, for pay or profit (or pay in kind), or were temporarily absent from a job for such reasons as illness, maternity or parental leave, holiday, training or industrial dispute. Unpaid family workers who work for at least one hour should be included in the count of employment, although many countries use a higher hour limit in their definition. Unpaid workers, family workers, and students are often omitted, and some countries do not count members of the armed forces. Data on employment are drawn from a variety of sources including labor force surveys, household surveys, official estimates, and censuses. In a very few cases and only where other types of sources are not available, information is derived from insurance records and establishment surveys Employment data include both full-time and part-time workers. Labor force statistics by gender is important to monitor gender disparities in employment patterns. Estimates of women in the labor force and employment are generally lower than those of men and are not comparable internationally, reflecting that demographic, social, legal, and cultural trends and norms determine whether women's activities are regarded as economic.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Relevance to gender indicator: this indicator monitors the participation of women in work and the lack of thereof indicates one of the main reasons for low economic empowerment among women.