The term "informal economy" refers to all economic activities performed by workers and economic units that are - in law or in practice - not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements. Informality poses serious challenges to workers (decent work deficits, poverty and vulnerability), economic units (low productivity and lack of access to finance and markets) and governments (issues of governance and rule of law, limited fiscal space). In many countries, informal employment and informal-sector economic units represent a significant part of the economy and labour market, and play a major role in production, employment creation and income generation. The debate on strategies for formalizing the informal economy gained new momentum worldwide at the International Labour Conference in June 2015, when the ILO's constituents adopted Recommendation 204 (R204), the first international standard focusing exclusively on the informal economy and the strategies required for the transition to formality. This new instrument constitutes a historic landmark, not only for ILO constituents but also for all those who are concerned with inclusive development, poverty eradication and reducing inequalities. R204 is an operational tool for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), within which formalization is one of the key indicators of Goal 8: to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Measuring and analysing the informality of jobs, economic units and productive activities continues to be a challenge for many developing countries; it hinders policymaking, as the contribution made by the informal economy is unaccounted for due to a lack of data and statistics. Bearing in mind the growing demand for a better understanding of the functioning of the informal economy and ways of measuring informal employment, the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin (ITCILO), in close collaboration with the ILO Department of Statistics, is proud to offer this e-learning course on Measuring Informal Employment.
National statistical offices (NSOs); ministries of labour and related institutions (e.g. labour observatories); Governmental agencies responsible for labour-market data analysis and national SDG reporting; ILO social partners (employers' and workers' organizations), including those representing the informal economy; Research and academic institutions; International organizations; Development agencies; Non-governmental organizations.