In 2000, the labor force included an estimated two million persons. As of that year, agriculture engaged 55%, industry 15%, and services 30%. The estimated unemployment rate in 1999 was7.2%.
A labor comprehensive law protects the right of all workers to form and belong to unions. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan (FITUK), successor to the former Soviet-era official unions, remains the single trade union umbrella organization. Nineteen of the 20 union organizations in Kyrgyzstan are affiliated with FITUK. The exception is the union of entrepreneurs and cooperative members, which essentially is an association of over 80,000 self-employed persons. Strikes are permitted. Collective bargaining is legally recognized and is used to negotiate workers conditions on a limited basis.
The standard workweek is 41 hours. Safety and health regulations in factories are generally not enforced. Child labor is widespread due to economic hardship. The government set the minimum wage at $2.00 per month, which does not provide a decent standard of living.