The government is the main employer in Nauru, and the private sector employs only 1 percent of the work-force. Major branches of government employment include the government-owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation and the administrative and bureaucratic branches of government. Many Nauruans do not work but receive assistance from the government. Much of the mining work is done by foreigners, especially temporary workers from China, the Philippines, and the neighboring island countries of Kiribati and Tuvalu. About 3,000 foreign workers live in Nauru. Non-Nauruans face many restrictions, including limitations on travel in and out of the country and limitations on their political rights.
Nauruan workers have the right to form unions, but none have yet been established. Women's access to employment is restricted by social conventions, and there are few women employed by government companies and no women in Parliament. Because the government takes care of all its citizens' needs, there has been little incentive for education in Nauru, and few Nauruans travel overseas to study at universities.