The working conditions in Sudan are very difficult to measure. Although the World Factbook estimated the unemployment rate to be 4 percent in 1996, some believe the real unemployment is much higher, perhaps even 30 percent. Estimating unemployment is impeded by the lack of official registration, the fact that women are isolated in their homes as housekeepers, and the isolation of southern regions.
Sudanese nationals once made up a very skilled workforce. Since the British colonial era, education has been given a high priority. Many Sudanese succeeded at the best British schools and universities. Sudanese were known as intelligent and educated people. Unfortunately, during the years of political instability and conflicts, education deteriorated and most of the skilled people fled the country. There are no chances for skilled people to succeed in Sudan. The salaries are very low and political loyalty is the main criterion for creating a successful career. You can find more Sudanese intellectuals, doctors, engineers, and specialists in New York; Washington, D.C.; London; or Paris than in Khartoum or other parts of Sudan.
Of the Sudanese in Sudan, 80 percent work in agriculture, 10 percent in industry and commerce, and about 6 percent in government offices. Working conditions in the rural areas are very undeveloped and resemble medieval times. Children also commonly work.