Countries With The Highest Rates Of Informal Employment

Economic activities that are neither taxed nor controlled by the government are considered informal employment. This job benefits many businesses and employees since it enables them to enhance their take-home earnings.

The local economy can benefit from and suffer from the informal sector. Positive in that it gives those who may otherwise struggle to obtain employment a way to make a living. These people who work informally won’t be eligible for pensions, minimum wages, or regulated hours.

Another drawback of informality is that it reduces taxable income for the government, leaving it with less money for infrastructure and public services. The nations with the most significant rates of non-agricultural, informal employment are examined in this article.

Nations with the Most Informal Economic Activity


Uganda, the only African nation on the list, tops the list for having a large informal workforce. In our country, 94 percent of the workforce is employed in unregulated and untaxed jobs. This employment is primarily in the trade sector, followed by the manufacturing and services sectors.


Guatemala comes in at number two, with 74 percent of its population relying on informal jobs as their primary source of income. Although it ranks second globally, this nation has the highest rate in Central America.

A street vendor, who sells regional delicacies or beverages from a cart on the street, could be a regular occupation here.


Honduras is the next nation, just after Guatemala. These two nations border each other due to their proximity. In Honduras, the percentage of unofficial employment is 73%.


The fourth option is to continue in Latin America but move farther south. Sixty-nine percent of the economy in Peru is unofficial. Within South America, this is the most casual nation.

Many Peruvian women who work informally have relocated from rural regions to the nation’s capital, Lima, searching for employment as private housekeepers or clothing manufacturers. They frequently get less than the minimum wage and are required to put in more hours than what is allowed by law.

South America

Next on the list is El Salvador, another nation in Central America. Additionally, 65 percent of the population there works in non-formal professions.

The following two nations have informality rates incredibly close to El Salvador’s. Each South American country of Paraguay and Colombia has an informal sector employment rate of 64%.


The most significant percentage of North American informal economic activity is found in Mexico, which ranks eighth on the list. Fifty-four percent of people in this area are employed in casual jobs.

Despite recent improvements in the legal economy, Mexicans still appear to choose employment in the unofficial sector. These vocations range from street entertainment to selling commodities (snacks, clothing, illegal movies, etc.). (clowns, jugglers, comedians, etc.).

The Other Nations

Although a handful outside Latin America, the remaining nations are mostly found there. Other countries with high rates of unregulated, untaxed economic activity include Palestine (52%), Dominican Republic (51%), Albania (43%), Thailand (43%), Panama (40%), Brazil (37%), and Uruguay (37%) (33 percent).

The Repercussions

The list demonstrates that emerging nations tend to have higher rates of informal economic activity. Because of this, the country’s formal sector workers may have to make larger tax withdrawals to compensate for the shortfall.

Since informal employment makes up most of the labor market, most residents disregard municipal rules and ordinances. High levels of informality may prevent growth and competitiveness in the formal sector as one of its effects.

This issue may overshadow the potential advantages that people in poverty could receive from informal employment.

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