In 2000, the labor force numbered 262,300, including 87,400 foreign workers who cross the border from France, Belgium and Germany. Of those employed, 90% were in the service sector, 8% in industry and 2% in agriculture. The 2002 estimated unemployment rate was 4.1%.
Labor relations have been generally peaceful since the 1930s. Foreign investors are attracted by the positive relationship which exists in Luxembourg between employers and the labor force. There is a strong trade union movement; about 57% of the labor force was organized in. Although independent, the two largest labor organizations are associated with major political parties. Workers may strike only after their dispute is submitted to the National Conciliation Office and all mediation efforts have failed. Collective bargaining is widely practiced.
As of 2002, workers who are at least 18 years of age with no dependents are entitled to a minimum wage of $6.34 per hour. Wage agreements are generally arrived at by industry-wide bargaining between labor and management. The maximum workweek is legally set at 40 hours. Work on Sunday is restricted. Children under the age of 16 are prohibited from employment except in some special circumstances. The law mandates a safe working environment and this is effectively enforced by the Ministry of Labor.