Indicator Name, Target and Goal

Indicator 9.2.2: Manufacturing employment as a proportion of total employment

Target 9.2: Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry's share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Definition and Rationale


This indicator is defined as the percentage of manufacturing employment in the total employment of a country. 


Employment comprises all persons of working age who during a short reference period (one week), were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit. The working-age population is usually defined as all persons aged 15 and above. For further clarification, see: Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization (2013), available from  

Manufacturing sector is defined according to the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC) revision 4 (2008, the latest) or revision 3 (1990). It refers to industries belonging to sector C in revision 4 or sector D in revision 3. 

Rationale and Interpretation:

This indicator conveys the contribution of manufacturing in total employment. It measures the ability of the manufacturing sector to absorb surplus labour forces from agricultural and other traditional sectors towards production labour with higher wages, when monitored over time. However, in developed countries an opposite trend is expected where emphasis has shifted to reduction in labor in manufacturing as part of cost-cutting measures, to promote more capital-intensive industries.

Data Sources and Collection Method

Data on the share of manufacturing employment can be obtained from a variety of sources, including labour force surveys and other similar types of household surveys, establishment surveys and administrative records. Labour force surveys are te preferred source of data for this indicator as they have the widest coverage: they cover all economic activities whithin its scope, all status in employment, all establishment sizes, formal and informal employment, etc. 

Method of Computation and Other Methodological Considerations

Computation Method:

The percentage of manufacturing employment in total employment (PMEmp) is calculated as: 

Comments and limitations:

The characteristics of the data source impact the international comparability of the data, especially in cases where the coverage of the source is less than comprehensive (either in terms of country territory or economic activities). In the absence of a labour force survey (the preferred source of data for this indicator), some countries may use an establishment survey to derive this indicator, but these usually have  a cut-off points such that small units which are not officially registered (whether in manufacturing or not) are not included in the survey and consequently, employment data may be underestimated. Discrepancies can also be caused by differences in the definition of employment or working age. 

Proxy, alternative and additional indicators: N/A

Data Disaggregation

This indicator can be disaggregated by sex, occupation, and/or country region.


Official SDG Metadata URL  

Internationally agreed methodology and guideline URL  

Other references
ILO. Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM). Geneva. Internet site:

ILO (2013). Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization. Nineteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Available at:

UNSD (2008). International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), Rev. 4. New York. Available at:

UNIDO. Industrial Statistics. Internet site: 

Country examples

International Organization(s) for Global Monitoring

This document was prepared based on inputs from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

For focal point information for this indicator, please visit

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