Classification Detail

International Classification of Status in Employment 93 (ICSE-93)

Basic Bibliographic Information

To Be Determined
International Labour Organization
Available Formats:
Year Adopted:
Year Published:
Available Languages (besides English):
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Fully available in all of the languages above

Purpose of the Classification

Statistical Domains:
1.2 Labour
(a) to provide a model for the development of national classifications for statistics on status in employment (b) to provide the basis for the production of internationally comparable statistics on the topic
Main Applications:
The production of statistics from household surveys, the population census, establishment surveys and administrative sources for the following purposes: * Analysis of the nature of the economic risk and authority experienced by workers * Anaylisis of the strength of attachment of the worker to the employer and the job * Studying the relationship between economic cycles and employment in higher risk, less secure, or precarious working situations * Assessment of the Impact of self-employment and entrepreneurialism on employment and economic growth * Evaluation of government policies related to economic development and job creation * Input to the measurement of informal employment * Identification of wage employment and its distribution and the production and analysis of statistics on wages, earnings and labour costs * Estimation of revenue from social contributions differentiated by status in employment * Input to statistics on the socio-economic status of persons and households * Explanatory variable in social statistics * Provision of data as an input national accounts
Main Users:
Ministries of labour, workers' and employers' organizations, social security adminstrations, ministries of finance, social and economic researchers


All jobs in the world
Concept Being Classified:
Statistical Units:
Jobs. Persons and households may be associated with a status in employment category through a specific job held by the person or member of the household.
Main Principles:
ICSE classifies jobs held by persons at a particular point in time. A job is classified with respect to the type of explicit or implicit contract of employment of the person with other persons or organizations The basic criteria used to define the groups of the classification are: (a) The type of economic risk (to which the job holder is exposed), an element of which is the strength of attachment between the person and the job, and (b) The type of authority over establishments and other workers which the job incumbents have or will have. Whilst the self-employed are not defined as a substantive group in ICSE-93, the groups are defined with reference to the distinction between ‘paid employment jobs’ and ‘self-employment jobs’. Paid employment jobs are defined as ‘those jobs where the incumbents hold explicit (written or oral) or implicit employment contracts which give them a basic remuneration which is not directly dependent upon the revenue of the unit for which they work. Persons in paid employment jobs are typically remunerated by wages and salaries, but may be paid by commission from sales, by piece-rates, bonuses or in-kind payments such as food, housing or training.’ Incumbents may work under the direction of, or according to strict guidelines set by, the owner or persons in the owner’s employment. Self-employment jobs are defined as ‘those jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits (or the potential for profits) derived from the goods and services produced (where own consumption is considered to be part of profits). The incumbents make the operational decisions affecting the enterprise, or delegate such decisions while retaining responsibility for the welfare of the enterprise.’

Classification Structure

Definition of Structure:
Level Name:
Code Format:
Number of Items:
Level 1
Types (2)
X items
Level 2
Categories (6)
X items
Level 3
Sub-categories (variable)
X items
The resolution adopting the classification provides advice on ‘the possible statistical treatment of particular groups’. It notes that some of the groups represent subcategories or disaggregations of one of the specific ICSE-93 categories and that others may cut across two or more of these categories. It suggests that according to national requirements, countries may need and be able to distinguish one or more of the groups and may also create other groups.

Revision Information

Chronology of revisions/versions of the classification:
Year Adopted:
Title or Version Number:
Official Adopting Entity:
International Conference of Labour Statisticians
Coordinating Entity:
International Labour Organization
Next Review:
Reason for Latest Revision:
To clarify the the conceptual basis of the classification and the boundaries between the main groups, as well as to provide sub-divisions of the main categories. The revision did not, however, result in the adoption of a standard set of sub-categories. Main changes: Definitions of the main groups were adopted, as well as a description of the conceptual basis of the classification. Guidance was provided on the treatment of particular sub-groups.

Supporting Documents

Coding Index Available:
Training Materials and Other Documents:
Training material available on request from

Contact Information

Agency / Office:
International Labour Organization
ILO Department of Statistics
+41 22 799 8631
+41 22 799 6957
International Labour Office 4, Route des Morillons CH-1211 Geneva 22 Switzerland