No Cushion To Fall Back On: The Global Economic Crisis and Informal Workers

Programme Type: ProjectsUrban Research Programme: 1, 2, 2, 2, T, A, T, p, c, c, , a, , , 2, 2, , 0, h, 0, p, , 0, 1
Publication Date: 2009

Much has been said about the impact of the global economic crisis on those employed in the formal economy while its impact on those employed informally – in enterprises and as wage workers – has received little or no attention. Individuals working within the urban informal economy in most developing countries are among the world’s poorest people, often earning less than USD 2 a day. To address the gap in information about the impact of the crisis on the working poor, the partners in the Inclusive Cities project collected information on the impact of the crisis on three categories of these workers – home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers. With overall guidance and co-ordination by the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO), interviews and focus group discus- sions were completed during June and July of 2009 that assessed broad changes for informal workers and their households over the previous six months, as well as specific impacts on the three different groups of informal workers.

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