Employment (Global Devel.)

  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 12-06-15 15:57

Informal Sector

Many people in the South - especially in cities - rely on their income on work in the formal sector.

This includes:

  • Self employment
  • Micro-enterprises 
  • Petty trading
  • Casual and Irregular Work
  • Personal Services

It is often labour intensive, unregulated and can be illegal. Informal businesses are usually not officially registered and may not pay tax

People work very hard but productivity is low and they do not get paid well. Families may also support themselves in developing countries through growing food for their own consumption (subsistence agricultural production.)

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Formal Sector

Involves large businesses with fairly stable employment, higher wages and regulated conditions, 

Workers may be able to organize themselves in trade unions.

Includes work for TNCs or for local businesses supplying TNCs

These can be described as sweat shops - but there are normally regulations on pay and conditions. 


Workers only receive a small amount of profits in the form of wages and benefits

Most of the wealth is taken out of the country. 

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Employment for the disadvantaged

1. Children: Time at school could be spent earning money, so children may work rather than go to school. 

2. Elderly: Retirement is a western idea, there is unlikely to be state pensions

3. Disabled: Rely on family and communities in the absence of state benefits. They may generate income by begging. In Sierra Leone's civil war, rebels cut of the hands/feet of victims. Governments and NGOs train victims in skills that help them work. 

4. Women: In some cultures it is unacceptable for women to work outside of the home. Women are often financially reliant on husbands and fathers to earn money. Women alone - e.g widows, find it difficult to make money. 

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Underemployment - unable to work to their full potential and unable to work themselves out of poverty

Globalization and the availability of cheaper international travel have enabled people in developing countries to work in the North 

Some are qualified, some aren't. Some work legally, others don't. Some stay for a short period while others stay long term

Pull factors of the North:

Availability of higher wages, workers rights and benefits. 

However, it is countered by higher costs of living.

Being able to send money home to support families in the county of origin in an increasingly important aspect of many economies

Harris - One of the most successful mechanisms for redistrubuting the world's income in favour of poorer countries. 

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Child Labour

Families often rely on children to work - cited as one of the reasons for families having several children.

They are an economic asset to the family.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) makes a distinction between working children and child labour. They work to abolish child labour, but recogizes that some work by children is acceptable and even essential.

Child Labour =

Under age of 15
Work for more than 14 hours a week
Who are usually not attending school.

More boys than girls are child labourers

218 Million child labourers in 2004 (ILO estimation)

Numbers have fallen in recent years due to campaigns for abolishment.  

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