In 1998, the International Labor Organization estimated a workforce of 41,015, with unemployment at 15.2 percent of the economically active population. Conditions and pay, excluding the declining agricultural sector, are better in Grenada than in many other Caribbean countries. This is because of a relatively strong and effective trade union movement, which defends the interests of workers in the public and private sectors. Unions have been particularly active in negotiating conditions for civil servants such as teachers and doctors. In manufacturing, pay rates are much higher than in such competitor countries as Haiti or the Dominican Republic. The Grenada Industrial Development Corporation, for instance, suggests workers in the electronic components plants can earn a weekly salary of between $100 and $250, at least 3 times that in lower-wage countries. Grenada's laws include protection against wrongful dismissal, the right to join unions, and many other basic workers' rights. Attempts by companies to violate such rights have caused strikes in the past.
For small farmers and rural laborers, conditions and pay are poor. Unions representing agricultural workers were powerful in the 1950s and 1960s, but have lost much of their influence. Wages have fallen dramatically in comparison to the manufacturing and services sector. Farming is now the preserve of older Grenadians or carried out on a part-time family basis. There is little or no child labor in Grenada, with the exception of this sort of farm work, while women are well represented in all areas of the economy and professions.