Informal labor markets, informal labor or employment, and informal laborers describe a segment of the labor market in which the workforce is not properly registered and generally not covered by social protection laws and various social insurance mechanisms (e.g., unemployment benefits, social security, disability). Low- and middle-income countries often have substantial informal sectors, providing livelihoods to half or more of their populations. Although parts of the informal sector can be dynamic and entrepreneurial, a large part often provides low-productivity, low-wage employment, frequently of a precarious nature with regard to health and basic economic security.

The risky nature of informal employment can have lifelong consequences for health and well-being not only for the informal laborer but also for the laborer’s whole family through the enduring effects of ...

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