To adequately monitor trends and inform a wide variety of social and economic policies, the international statistical standards recommend producing separate statistics on:
- Persons in own-use production of goods
- Persons in own-use provision of services
Persons in own-use production of goods are defined as all those of working age who, during a specified reference period, performed any activity to produce goods for own final use. The notion “for own final use” refers to production where the intended destination of the output is mainly for final use by the producer in the form of capital formation, or for final consumption by household members, or by family members living in other households.
According to the international standards, own-use production of goods includes the following activities (within 2008 SNA production boundary) when intended mainly for own final use:
- Producing and/or processing for storage agricultural, fishing, hunting and gathering products;
- Collecting and/or processing for storage mining and forestry products, including firewood and other fuels;
- Fetching water from natural and other sources;
- Manufacturing household goods (such as furniture, textiles, clothing, footwear, pottery or other durables, including boats and canoes);
- Building, or effecting major repairs to, one’s own dwelling, farm buildings, etc.;
For policy purposes, an important sub-group of persons in own-use production of goods are subsistence foodstuff producers; that is, persons who performed any of the above activities to produce foodstuff from agriculture, fishing, hunting or gathering that contribute to the livelihood of the household or family.
Persons in own-use provision of services are defined as all those of working age who, during a specified reference period, performed any activity to provide services for own final use by household members, or by family members living in other households.
According to the international standards, own-use provision of services includes the following activities (inside the General production boundary but beyond the 2008 SNA production boundary) when performed unpaid for the household or family member:
- household accounting and management, purchasing and/or transporting goods;
- preparing and/or serving meals, household waste disposal and recycling;
- cleaning, decorating and maintaining one’s own dwelling or premises, durables and other goods, and gardening;
- childcare and instruction, transporting and caring for elderly, dependent or other household members and domestic animals or pets, etc.;
Current international guidelinesThe latest international recommendations on the measurement of own-use production work are contained in the Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization adopted by the 19th ICLS in 2013. This resolution provides reference concepts, operational definitions and guidelines to support countries in establishing a comprehensive system of on work and labour market statistics that includes, as an integral part, statistics on own-use production work. More so, in countries where subsistence agriculture and/or fishing is a common activity in particular regions or among certain groups of the population, the international guidelines recommend that statistics on persons in own-use production of goods be produced with the same frequency as statistics on employment and labour underutilization.
Time use surveys are a key source of detailed statistics on persons’ use of time in different activities, including in own-use production work, and especially, in own-use provision or services. For monitoring trends and to enable analysis of dynamics between participation in the labour market and in own-use production work, inclusion of short modules on participation in own use production of goods and in own-use provision of services in national labour force surveys are also recommended.