The share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector is the share of female workers in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector expressed as a percentage of total wage employment in that same sector.
The non-agricultural sector includes industry and services. ‘Industry’ includes mining and quarrying (including oil production), manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas, and water, corresponding to divisions 2-5 in the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC-Rev.2) and to tabulation categories C-F in ISIC-Rev. 3. ‘Services’ include wholesale and retail trade and restaurants and hotels; transport, storage, and communications; financing, insurance, real estate, and business services; and community, social, and personal services, corresponding to divisions 6-9 in ISIC-Rev. 2, and to tabulation categories G-Q in ISIC-Rev. 3.
Employment refers to people above a certain age who worked or held a job during a specified reference period (according to the ILO Resolution concerning statistics of the economically active population, employment, unemployment and underemployment, adopted by the Thirteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS), October 1982).
Wage employment refers only to wage earners and salaried employees, or "persons in paid employment jobs". Employees are typically remunerated by wages and salaries, but may be paid by commission from sales, piece-rates, bonuses or payments in kind such as food, housing, training, etc. These persons are in wage employment as opposed to self-employment – that is employers, own-account workers, members of producers' cooperatives and contributing family workers. The different statuses in employment are defined according to the ILO Resolution concerning the International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE), adopted by the 15th ICLS (1993).
Comparability and availability of data
As all other indicators, this one faces the problem of availability and comparability of country-level data.
Comparability: There are a number of reasons why the indicator may not be strictly comparable across countries:
Conceptual variation – Although there are clear international standards for the relevant concepts, countries may use different definitions for employment status, especially for part-time workers, students, members of the armed forces, and household or contributing family workers. National statistical offices, even when using ILO conceptual guidelines, do not necessarily follow the same definitions or classifications. Also the coverage of paid employment may differ from one country to another and within one country over time.
Different sources – National estimates are based on information from different sources, namely population censuses, labour force/household surveys, establishment surveys, administrative sources (mostly social security records) and official estimates that are based on results from several sources. Each source has its own characteristics and provides certain types of data. The first two and the last source may cover the whole relevant population. Results from establishment surveys and administrative records are likely to cover only large private and public sector employers, in particular in developing countries.
Depending on the source, the measurement and coverage may differ between countries and within countries over time.
Availability of data over time – Only about half of the countries provide the data necessary for estimating the indicator with more or less regular frequency.
Comments and limitations of the indicator:
The indicator shows the extent to which women have access to paid employment, which will affect their integration into the monetary economy. It also indicates the degree to which labour markets are open to women in industry and services sectors which affects not only equal employment opportunity for women, but also economic efficiency through flexibility of the labour market and the economy’s capacity to adapt to changes over time.
The indicator has a number of limitations, the main one being its volume factor which does not fully reflect quality, especially the economic benefits of such employment. The examples of limitations are the following:
In many countries (especially developing countries), non-agricultural wage employment represents only a small portion of total employment. As a result the contribution of women to the national economy is underestimated and therefore misrepresented.|
|(b)||The indicator is difficult to interpret, unless additional information is available on the share of women in total employment, which would allow an assessment to be made of whether women are under- or over-represented in non-agricultural wage employment.|
The indicator does not reveal any differences in the quality of the different types of non-agricultural wage employment (that apply also to all jobs), regarding earnings, conditions of work, or the legal and social protection, which they offer. The indicator cannot reflect whether women are able to reap the economic benefits of such employment, either.|
It should be noted that the extent of female employment of any kind tends to be underreported in all kinds of surveys. In addition, the employment share of the agricultural sector, for both men and women, is severely underreported.|
Comprehensive, detailed statistics on total and paid employment disaggregated by sex, by branch of economic activity, occupation and status in employment are collected annually through a specialised questionnaire for the Yearbook of Labour Statistics sent directly to the official national authorities (ministries responsible for labour, central statistical services, etc.) in all member States and Territories. Statistics are also gleaned from national publications and websites.
These statistics are published, respectively, in the ILO Yearbook of Labour Statistics and the Bulletin of Labour Statistics, and are also available online in LABORSTA.
In addition to the statistics, the Bureau also collects and disseminates the relevant national methodological information used to produce these statistics. The methodological information on national practices is available for consultation at http://laborsta.ilo.org/, under “Sources and Methods”. To improve country coverage a special action inquiry to national statistical offices was sent out in 2003. It consisted of a questionnaire requesting data, as of 1990, on Paid Employment in Non Agricultural Activities, and Unemployment by Age Group, for totals, women and men separately, from all available data sources (i.e. labour force survey, establishment survey, administrative records, official estimates).
A number of validation and consistency tests are executed on the data received. These include qualitative as well as quantitative checks. All departures from the international standards or classifications are indicated with footnotes. Where necessary, countries are contacted for further clarifications.
The annual questionnaire is pre-filled with the statistics provided in the previous years (maximum of ten), so that when countries update their series they also have the possibility to review, verify and, where needed, modify the data previously provided.
In principle, the data are not adjusted, as they are collected through a standard questionnaire, and reported in line with the international classifications. All departures from the international standard definitions and classifications are indicated in notes.