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This section presents a range of indicators on labour market and employment conditions in Timor–Leste. The tabulations on labour force participation and unemployment follow the standard International Labour Organization approach to measurement of these indicators. In particular, the tabulations focus on the population ages 15 to 64 years and use the last 7 days previous to the interview as the reference period. The labour force is defined to comprise all economically active persons either currently employed or unemployed. The former includes those who worked in the last week for at least one hour as well as those who did not work in the last week but have a permanent job. The unemployed comprise those who did not work in the last week, did not have a permanent job and were looking for work. In addition, the unemployed also include those who did not work in the last week, did not have a permanent job, did not look for work, but were waiting for a reply from an employer, waiting for a recall from an employer or waiting for the busy season. The unemployment status thus defined does not capture the phenomenon of discouraged workers who while not having worked during the past 7 days also did not look for a job as they saw no prospect of finding any work.

The population out of the labour force comprises those who were neither employed nor unemployed during the last week. They represent those who were not economically active for a variety of reasons including attendance to an educational institution, engagement in household duties, retirement, old age or disability.

The labour force participation rate refers to the proportion of people in the labour force in the total population ages 15 to 64 years, whereas the unemployment rate refers to the share of the unemployed in the total labour force.

The employed comprises those working in wage employment, non-wage employment and farming. Wage employment, or paid employment, refers to all persons performing some work for wage or salary, in cash or in kind. Non-wage employment, or self-employment, refers to all persons performing some work (other than farming which is identified separately) for profit or family gain, in cash or in kind. Farming refers to all persons working in agriculture, livestock, forestry or fishing.

The main job refers to the job in which the person worked the most hours during the last week.

Tabulations are also presented on the amount of time spent on various housework and care giving activities during the last 7 days. Specifically, five such activities are identified: fetching water; fetching wood; performing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes or doing maintenance work at home; watching over young children; and caring for the elderly.