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  • May 2011
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1. informality -- a manner that does not take forms and ceremonies seriously 2. The state or quality of being informal
Their notions of equality lead Americans to be quite informal in their general behavior and in their relationships with other people.People from societies where general behavior is more formal than in American are struck by the informality of American speech, dress, and posture. Idiomatic speech (commonly called “slang”) is heavily used on most occasions, with formal speech reserved for public events and fairly formal situations. People of almost any station in life can be seen in public wearing jeans, sandals, or other informal attire. People slouch down in chairs or lean on walls or furniture when they talk, rather than maintaining an erect bearing.

Washington DC, May 23, 2007 – Informality in employment can lead to a social balance that is less than optimal and in which many workers are unprotected against health- and employment-related shocks and poverty in old age. In Latin America and the Caribbean alone, 56 percent of jobs in urban areas are informal, a trend which has caused concern in recent years. This can be explained in part by marked rises in real minimum wages in some countries as well as by inadequate macroeconomic policies, according to the World Bank report Informality: Exit and Exclusion. The study describes two groups of informal workers: informal self-employed workers who account for 24 percent of urban jobs, and informal salaried workers who account for about 30 percent of total urban jobs and more than half of all informal employment.  The figures vary across countries in both cases. The report suggests that the increase in informality during the 1990s could be related to changes in the labor market and social security regulations, weak law enforcement capacities, and greater availability of social protection schemes that do not require contributions from informal workers. According to the report,...

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