"Having a job" is indeed a basic human right. I wouldn't try to argue it to the boss when you are being fired, though.

Economic Rights under International Law

International treaty law does, in fact, recognize that employment is a basic human right.

Article 7 of the "International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights", adopted by the UN General Assemby in 1966 and ratified by member states in 1976, provides:

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:
  • (a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:
  • (b) Safe and healthy working conditions;
  • (c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority and competence;
  • (d ) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays

Arguably these are merely aspirational goals. The specifics of equal employment opportunity will vary among the "municipal" (e.g. internal, national) laws of the various member states. Generally speaking, however, all the people of the world do have a "right to work".

"Right-to-Work" Laws in the United States

Many states, including my own, have "Right To Work" laws. These are misnamed for politcal reasons. Such laws provide no "right" to a job. "Right-To-Work" laws make closed-shop collective bargaining agreements illegal, so you don't have to join a union if you don't want to. That doesn't confer any "rights" on anyone, except arguably the right to benefit from union representation without paying dues.

The Right to the "Pursuit of Happiness"

The Declaration of Independence asserted the belief that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your high school civics class may have told you that a right to "pursuit of happiness" is not found in the basic law of the land, the Constitution. What your high school civics teacher probably did not mention is that the "pursuit of happiness" has been enacted as positive law through State constitutions. A typical provision is the first Article of the Vermont "Declaration of Rights":

That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety...

It would be difficult to argue a legal right to employment or education from this Constitutional provision. Certainly, you could not use it to claim a right to a particular job you want. Still, it codifies a principle of fairness and equal opportunity which underlies a lot of other law: primarily equal protection and due process cases. Upon those two phrases, found in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions, has been erected a great legal edifice of constitutional law which, together with anti-discrimination statutes, grants a "right to work" in the sense of equal opportunity.

For example, government employees --once they have a vested, full-time, non-probationary job-- have the right not to be fired arbitrarily, that is, without "good cause". That may not sound like much of a right, if you are unaware that employees in the private sector can generally be fired for any reason or no reason at all. The special rule for public employees is expressly grounded on the due process clause, but is informed by the background notions of equal opportunity enshrined in international law, the Declaration of Independence, and many State constitutions.