The total workforce was approximately four million in 1999, of whom approximately 70% were in agriculture. The unemployment rate was officially 48% in 2001.
Senegal's fundamental labor legislation is based on the French overseas labor code of 1952, which provides for collective agreements between employers and trade unions, for the fixing of basic minimum wages by the government on recommendation of advisory committees. The code also provides for paid annual leave and for child allowances. The right to strike is recognized by law, and there are special labor courts. The largest trade union organization is the National Confederation of Senegalese Workers, which since 1970 has been the official union affiliated with the ruling PS. Its major rival is the National Union of Autonomous Labor Unions of Senegal. The industrial workforce is almost totally unionized. Although the relative number of union members is small, they have considerable political power due to their control of vital segments of the economy.
The minimum working age is 16, when minors may work in apprenticeships. The prohibition of child labor is strictly enforced in the formal sector, but somewhat less so in the informal and traditional economies. The labor law provides for a workweek of 40 to 48 hours and minimum occupational and safety and health regulations. However, these labor regulations are not effectively enforced outside of the formal economy. The minimum wage was $0.37 in 2001.