Because of the country's low population density and its former socialist economic system, unemployment has not been a serious problem in the Lao PDR. The visible urban unemployment rate in Laos was 3.5 percent overall in 1994. The large informal sector also provides opportunities for those who cannot find meaningful em-
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|
|Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Laos|
|Survey year: 1992|
|Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.|
|SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].|
ployment in the formal sector. The Lao PDR has a progressive labor law, which is extremely specific related to working age, minimum wage, and overtime payments, for example. This labor law primarily covers those employees working in the modern formal sector. Women and children are active in the labor force, particularly in the agricultural sector and informal economy. Those able to attain higher levels of education can gain access to work in the public sector, the modern private sector , or with various international agencies and organizations present in the Lao PDR. Those with superior English language skills are particularly advantaged in the modern, urban labor market.