The unemployment rate stood at an estimated 21% in 2001. All workers are free to form and join unions of their choosing without interference from the government. There are two umbrella union organizations: The Council of Free Labor Unions and the National Union of Cape Verde Workers, which together have 30,000 members. The government generally respects the worker's right to strike.
The law allows children as young as 14 to work with certain applicable restrictions. There is no established minimum wage, however, most private employers pay their workers what an entry-level government official would make, approximately $120 per month in 2002. The legal workweek is limited to 44 hours for adults. Larger employers generally respect this restriction, but agricultural and domestic laborers work longer hours.