The economically active population was 8,300 persons in 1999. The service sector employed 75.7% of the population, construction 15%, and mining 9.3%. In 2000, the unemployment rate was 2.3%.
There are no specific provisions granting the right to strike or organize unions, but the issue has never come up and there were no organized trade unions.
There is no minimum age for employment, but children do not typically work, except to help out in small scale family enterprises such as fishing or agriculture. Education is compulsory until age 14, and this is enforced by the government.
Palau's first minimum wage law, passed in 1998, set a rate of $2.50 per hour. This was still in effect in 2002, and generally provides for a decent standard of living for a family. There are many foreign workers in Palau, and these workers often receive housing and food in addition to wages. There are no legally proscribed work hours, but most businesses are closed on Saturday or Sunday.