Types of work

ILOSTAT reports on global rates of employment. Four types of employment status are measured: employee; employer; own-account workers; and contributing family workers. Employees comprise the largest category (54.3% of workers in 2018)

There is a strong correlation between income and employee status. The higher the country’s income the greater proportion of its workers, particularly women, have employee status. Only 21.6% of workers are categorised as employees in low income countries: 25.4% of men and 17.2% of women. This compares to 86.2% of workers in high-income countries where slightly more women are employees (89.2%) compared to men (83.8%). By disaggregating the data by gender and individual country even greater variations can be found, so that in Burundi only 2.8% of women workers are employees compared to 11% of men. In Burundi the majority of women (85.3%) work on their own account. On the other hand 99.6% of workers in Qatar, both male and female, are categorised as employees.

Globally the percentage of employees has been increasin. This pattern is repeated across all income groups. The percentage of women employees has also been growing, slowly closing the gender gap in lower income countries and overtaking men in high income countries so that globally slightly more women are now employees than men.

Non-standard forms of employment

Non-standard forms of employment can work for some, offering more flexibility, but often they are associated with less pay, insecurity, lack of training and career opportunities and no social security protection and job dissatisfaction (ILO, 2017: 6).


Part-time work (16%)

temporary work