Of this total labor force 114.0 million are employed, the remaining 7.2 million are unemployed. Sectors that saw large increases in its number of workers towards Indonesia's total work force in the period February 2012 to February 2013 were construction (+12.95 percent), trade (+3.29 percent), and industry (+4.01 percent). Indonesia's agricultural sector, on the other hand, lost 3.01 percent. 

More than a decade of macroeconomic growth has succeeded in pushing Indonesia's unemployment rate into a steady downward trend. But, as around two million Indonesians enter the labor force each year, it will be a challenge for the Indonesian government to stimulate job creation so that the labor market can absorb this group of annual newcomers; youth unemployment (among the freshly graduated) in particular is a cause for concern and action.

With around 240 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world (after China, India and the United States). Moreover, the country has a young population as around half of the total population is below the age of 30 years. Combined, these two features imply that Indonesia currently contains a large labor force; one that will grow larger in the foreseeable future.

Vulnerable employment (unpaid workers and own-account workers) - mostly found in Indonesia's large informal sector - for both men and women remains high compared to developed countries and its regional peers. Currently, Indonesia's vulnerable employment is about 60 to 70 percent according to World Bank reports.

          2010         2011         2012         2013¹
Labor Force   116,527,546   119,399,375   118,040,000   121,190,000
- Working   108,207,767   111,281,744   110,800,000   114,020,000
- Unemployed      8,319,779      8,117,631      7,240,000      7,170,000

¹ data from February 2013
Source: Statistics Indonesia