Informality and Globalisation

In Search of a New Social Contract

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Globalisation and rapid technological change have radically transformed labour markets, affecting the lives and prospects of billions of workers. Those in the informal economy, the vast bulk of the workforce in the Global South, have been bearing the brunt. This report is for policy makers seeking to address the factors that make those workers in informality vulnerable. It provides them with a distinctive cross-country comparison of recent informality trends, and how they were affected by the recent crises such as the COVID-19 epidemic, casting light on the impacts of sub-contracting models in global value chains, and digital labour platforms. It argues that an inclusive recovery and greater resilience to future crises necessitate that many countries renew their social contracts, to make them more inclusive of informal workers and their families.


Resumen ejecutivo

El empleo informal sigue siendo una práctica habitual en todo el mundo. Ya antes de la crisis de la COVID‑19, cerca de 2.000 millones de trabajadores —en torno al 60 % de la población mundial empleada— contaban con empleos informales, lo cual suele implicar que carezcan de protección social, tengan menos derechos en el trabajo y un menor acceso a formación.

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