The vast majority of the estimated labor force of about one million in 1998 was engaged in stock raising and subsistence agriculture. In 2000, there were 264,000 people in formal sector employment. In 2001, an estimated 40% of the working population was unemployed.
There are well-developed unions in mining, railways, banking, and among blue-collar government workers, all members of the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions. An employment act controls employment contracts, work by women and children, wage guarantees, conditions of work, and paid holidays. The law severely restricts the right to strike. There was a government-set minimum wage of $3.15 per day in 2002. This is well below the amount required to support even a single person, but most earn in excess of the minimum wage. There is a maximum 48-hour workweek and there are minimum safety and health standards but due to lack of resources they are not regularly enforced.