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Employing Workers

About us

The Employing Workers (EW) project is a World Bank Group project collecting data on the labor laws and regulations to measure the flexibility of regulation of employment, specifically as it relates to the areas of hiring, working hours, and redundancy rules and cost.

Our purpose

The Employing Workers dataset serves as a resource for academics, journalists, private sector researchers and others interested in the employment regulations worldwide.

Our data

The project gathers and analyzes comprehensive quantitative data to compare labor regulations across economies and over time. The data covers 191 economies and is being published annually.

In order to make data comparable across economies, the Employing Workers project uses a standardized cases study with several assumptions about the worker and the business. Please see the Employing Workers methodology page.

Why does it matter?

The regulation of employment is necessary for the proper functioning of labor markets. It is needed to protect workers from arbitrary or unfair treatment and to ensure efficient contracting between employers and workers. Labor regulation can help correct market imperfections, support social cohesion and encourage economic efficiency.

Evidence from global studies shows that when labor regulation is too cumbersome for the private sector, economies experience higher unemployment – most pronounced among youth and female workers and larger informal sector.