There are approximately 3.7 million workers in Somalia, with nomadic shepherds and subsistence farmers accounting for 70% of the working population. Industry and services employed the remaining 30%. Since the overwhelming majority of the population was engaged in stock herding or agriculture, the number of unemployed was not large, but there was considerable unemployment in the urban centers.
Labor codes were enacted in the early 1960s for minimum wages, hours of work, employment of women and children, vacations, and collective bargaining. After the 1969 revolution, the SRC dissolved the existing unions and took action to organize the General Federation of Somali Trade Unions along lines more in keeping with its plans for a Socialist state, but it was believed to have ceased functioning with the collapse of the government in 1992. As of 2001, the recent constitution of Somaliland provided the right to unionize, but no unions had been formed yet. There are no systems in place to implement acceptable work conditions, child labor regulations, workweek standards or wage minimums.