chapter  5
80 Pages


Unemployment is a relatively new concept to Indonesia, following on the international concern reflected in the ILO Reports of the 1970s. The 1980 National Census of Population of Indonesia reported open unemployment at 1.7 per cent of the labour force, scarcely a rate to cause alarm when compared to rates of 3-5 per cent in neighbouring countries, or 10-15 per cent or more in industrialised countries. But, as has often been pointed out, a country can have almost any rate of unemployment it chooses, depending on how it measures employment and labour force participation. Censuses and labour force surveys in Indonesia measure labour force participation from age 10, although the legal minimum working age is 14. The extent to which children aged 10-14 are available or ready for work depends on the economic status of the household and on the availability of schools.