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The informal economy comprises the parts of the economy that are not regulated. These parts include illicit activity like the sale of drugs, architects doing work under the table, hairdressers who operate in cash and don’t report their income, businesses employing illegal workers, and businesses operating without government required licenses. Informal economic actors are often self-employed, or are employed elsewhere and operating an informal business on the side as a means for supplemental income. Often, informal economic actors are undocumented immigrants who risk being discovered if documentation is heavy. Acting informally allows income to be generated without documentation.
Buffalo; Poverty/Low Wage Work/Income Inequality; Exploitative Businesses; Fact Sheet; PPG; Equality/Civil Rights; Criminal Justice