Country Listing

Venezuela Table of Contents


Informal Sector

An estimated 2.3 million persons, or 38 percent of all workers, operated outside the formal economy in 1988. Although estimates varied, the informal sector accounted for between 32 and 40 percent of the labor force throughout the 1980s. This sector included nonprofessional self-employed workers, businesses employing five or fewer persons, and domestic workers. So-called informales drove taxis, offered door-to-door mechanical services, cleaned homes, sold clothing on downtown streets, and worked as day laborers. Youth, women, and Colombian indocumeutados (undocumented or illegal aliens) apparently constituted a disproportionate share of the informal sector. According to some analysts, the country's large underground economy stemmed from the government's excessive regulation of the formal economy and the private sector's inability to provide sufficient jobs for the country's burgeoning urban populace.

Data as of December 1990