In 1999 the Seychelles labor force consisted of 30,786 people, according to Seychelles in Figures 2000, and the unemployment rate was around 11.0 percent. The labor market is heavily regulated, which requires all those working or seeking work to register with the government. Permission from the National Workers' Union is required for all dismissals or changing of jobs. In recent years, however, there has been some liberalization of the labor market, especially in conjunction with the opening of the Seychelles International Trade Zone in 1995. The government-controlled parastatals traditionally provided employment for almost half of the economically active population, although their role decreased in the late 1990s. Independent trade unions have been allowed since November 1993.