Algeria's labor force has steadily increased in the course of the past 2 decades. In 2000, Algeria's labor force was estimated at 9.1 million, up 2.7 million since 1995. The majority of the labor force is concentrated in the public and agricultural sectors. Algerian workers are relatively poorly educated, as technical and basic education have lagged in the 1990s.
Algerian labor has a tradition of unionization, headed by the Union Generale des Travailleurs Algeriens (UGTA). About two-thirds of the labor force is unionized. UGTA has been a powerful force in negotiating public sector wages with the government, but the 1990 labor law brought collective bargaining to an end. However, GTA still retains its power to organize public-sector strikes to protest the decline of wages. These strikes, however, have seldom succeeded in forcing concessions from the government.
The government has adopted labor rights regulating working conditions and other rights of workers. The minimum age for employment is 16 years. These regulations, however, are rarely enforced, and child labor, especially in the agricultural sector, remains widespread. The minimum wage is US$90 (6,000 dinars) per month. The standard workweek is 40 hours.