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Indonesia: Small-scale Industry
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Industry > Small-scale Industry


The modern sector of medium and large firms was the focus of government policy, but small-scale factories that employed from five to nineteen workers and cottage industries that employed up to four workers -- usually family members -- were far more numerous and supplied the majority of jobs. Small-scale establishments engaged in a wide range of activities, from traditional bamboo weaving to metal and leather working. Many of these industries offered parttime employment to rural workers during offpeak seasons. Statistics on these activities were tenuous because of the seasonal patterns and interviewing difficulties. A review of the available BPS data by economist Tulus Tambunan showed that small-scale industries employed 3.9 million workers in 1986, compared with 1.7 million employees of medium- and large-scale firms. Still, this figure reflected a significant decline from small industries' share of employment in 1974, which was about 86 percent of total industrial employment, or 4.2 million employees compared with only about 700,000 in medium and large industries.

Data as of November 1992

Last Updated: November 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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