The Informal Sector and Informal Employment in Bangladesh

Publication | December 2012

This report is the result of the analysis on the Informal Sector Survey that was funded by ADB. It presents an in-depth analysis of informal employment, which comprises about 89% of all jobs in Bangladesh.

  • US$24.00 (paperback)

Based on a labor force survey conducted in 2010, informal employment in Bangladesh is estimated at about 89% of the total number of jobs in the labor market. It is more prevalent in the rural areas than in urban areas. Women are also more likely to be under informal employment arrangements.

The informal sector accounted for more than 40% of the total gross value added of Bangladesh in 2010, with the highest contributions in agriculture, fishery, trade, and industries where capitalization is relatively lower.


Some of the report's key findings:

  • Workers who have no education or primary education are more likely to hold informal jobs.
  • The majority of the formal jobs are associated with semi- to high-skilled workers, while unskilled work is associated with informal jobs.
  • Almost 77% of the jobs available in the country's labor market in 2010 are undertaken in informal production units composed mainly of unpaid family workers and "daily wage workers" both in the agriculture and non-agriculture sectors.
  • Casual/irregularly paid workers work an average of 54 hours a week, while the unpaid family worker work 35 hours per week.
  • Informal workers are less likely to receive pension, social protection, and a notice of termination compared to formal workers.
  • Common places of informal work are in farms, markets, bazaar stalls, and trade fairs.

This country report is one of the outputs of ADB's regional technical assistance (RETA) 6430: Measuring the Informal Sector.


  • Front Matter
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Employment in Formal and Informal Economy
  • Contribution of the Informal Sector to GDP
  • Characteristics of Informal Sector Enterprises
  • Institutionalizing Informal Employment and Informal Sector in Official Statistics
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Appendixes
  • References

Additional Details

  • Poverty
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • Bangladesh
  • RPT125040
  • 978-92-9092-923-9 (Print)
  • 978-92-9092-924-6 (Web)

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