ByFlorian Juergens-Grant, Laura Alfers

While mainstream debates tend to view the informal economy as a residual component, we know that from an employment perspective it is actually the norm: 61 per cent of all working people in the world and 70 per cent of those working in middle- and low-income countries are in informal employment.

We social protection people sometimes speak of the ‘missing middle’ when talking about social protection coverage for informal workers. Calling in the ‘missing majority’ may be more appropriate. 

Informal workers are mostly excluded from social protection systems — with dire consequences during COVID-19

Despite facing higher risks of poverty than their formally-employed peers, few informal workers have access to social protection. 

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