In 2001, the labor force was estimated at 43,800. Some 43% of the workforce was engaged in agriculture, with 39% in services, and the remaining 18% in commerce and industry. Unemployment was officially estimated at 22% in 1998.
As of 2001, unions in St. Lucia represented about 20% of the workforce. The largest trade union grouping, the Industrial Solidarity Pact, includes the National Workers' Union, the St. Lucia Civil Service Association, the Prison Officers' Association, and the St. Lucia Teachers' Union. The law protects the right to unionize, strike, and bargain collectively.
The law provides for a minimum working age of 14. Occupational safety and health regulations are regularly enforced. There is no national legislated workweek, although the common practice is to work 40 hours a week spread over five days. Special legislation covers hours which shop assistants, agricultural workers, domestics and young industrial employees work. There is a minimum wage for office clerks only, which was $300 per month in 2001.