The majority of the population was engaged in subsistence agriculture in 2002. The unemployment rate in 1998 was estimated at 30%. Workers have the right to form unions, but there is no legislation to implement this right or to prohibit antiunion discrimination in the workplace. In 2001, the first Small Farmers Syndicate became the first legally recognized union. There was still no collective bargaining at that time.
Wages are set by the government and employers, with little or no input by workers. There was a statutory, monthly minimum wage of about $100 in 2002 for unskilled workers, with the minimum for oil sector professionals set at 10 times that amount. The legal minimum age for employment is 14, but the government does not enforce this. The standard legal workweek is set at 35 hours, with a 48-hour rest period.