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Definition: Work

Labour market

Work means any work for pay or profit during the reference week, even for as little as one hour. Pay includes cash payments or "payment in kind" (payment in goods or services rather than money), wetter payment was received in the week the work was done or not. Also counted as working is anyone who receives wages for on-the-job training which involves the production of goods or services. Self-employed persons with a business, farm or professional practice are also considered to be working if one of the following applies:

(1) A person works in his own business, professional practice or farm for the purpose of earning a profit, even if the enterprise is failing to make a profit.

(2) A person spends time on the operation of business, professional practice or farm even if no sales were made, no professional services were rendered, or nothing was actually produced (for example, a farmer who engages in farm maintenance activities; an architect who spends time waiting for clients in his/her office; a fisherman who repairs his boats or net for future operations; a person who attends a convention or seminar).

(3) A person is in the process of setting up a business, farm or professional practice; this includes the buying or installing of equipment, and ordering of supplies in preparation for opening a new business. An unpaid family worker is said to be working if the work contributes directly to a business, farm or professional practice owned or operated by a related  member of the same household. Unpaid family work is any task directly contributing to the operation of the family farm or business.
Eurostat, "Labour force survey: Methods and definitions, 1998 Edition", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1999, p. 64