The labor force was estimated at 2.1 million in 2001. Agriculture provided work to 40% of the labor force, with another 40% engaged in services and the remaining 20% in industry. The estimated unemployment rate was 17%.
Employees have the right to form or join unions freely. A confederation of independent trade unions has emerged with the abandonment of the old centralized Soviet trade unions. Georgia's main trade union is the Amalgamated Trade Unions of Georgia. Workers are permitted to engage in collective bargaining, but this practice is not extensive.
The minimum employment age is 16 except in unusual circumstances, and this minimum employment age is generally respected. The government sets public-sector salaries dependent on the pay grade of the employee. The lowest such wage was $10.80 per month in 2002. There is no state prescribed minimum wage for the private sector. In general, wages and salaries do not provide a decent standard of living for a family. The legal standard workweek is 41 hours with a 24-hour rest period weekly.