Although many people may not be officially employed in developing countries, most find work in the informal sector, whether in unregistered businesses, street selling or as servants. Working hours may extend to 10-15 per day, 6 or 7 days per week, for which they are underpaid. Such positions in industrialized countries are, in contrast, taken by immigrants from developing countries, as westerners are often unwilling to perform such manual labour for little compensation. Often those who perform live-in care for children, the elderly and the disabled in western countries are immigrants from developing countries, who may work more and earn less than western natives.
Some fear the rising popularity of au pairs in western Europe promises increased exploitation of young women, particularly those from eastern European countries. A 1993 study estimates 170,000 au pairs in the UK, most of whom are from underdeveloped countries and may be working 40 to 50 hours per week for a sum of close to £30. Without a work permit, an au pair is at the financial mercy of her employer, as she owes job security to her employer's secrecy. A 1993 USA report found well-trained factory workers in Tijuana, Mexico earning $10 a day, barely 12% of the pay given to their US counterparts.
In the United States, levels of unemployment have fallen to levels which were considered impossible at the beginning of the nineties. But more and more jobs are at low income levels and do not provide benefits. Poverty problems are hardly being touched by the apparent prosperity of the country and the demand for food is outrunning the potential of food banks. Extreme hardship continues to spread and charitable giving is falling rather than rising.