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An worker is a person who sells their labor under an employment contract (to perform paid tasks to an employer for wage remuneration).




    • Wage labour (or wage labor in American English) is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract.[1] These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined.[2] In exchange for the wages paid, the work product generally becomes the undifferentiated property of the employer, except for special cases such as the vesting of intellectual property patents in the United States where patent rights are usually vested in the original personal inventor. A wage labourer is a person whose primary means of income is from the selling of his or her labour in this way.

      In modern mixed economies such as those of the OECD countries, it is currently the dominant form of work arrangement. Although most work occurs following this structure, the wage work arrangements of CEOs, professional employees, and professional contract workers are sometimes conflated with class assignments, so that "wage labour" is considered to apply only to unskilled, semi-skilled or manual labour.

    • The most common form of wage labour currently is ordinary direct, or "full-time", employment in which a free worker sells his or her labour for an indeterminate time (from a few years to the entire career of the worker), in return for a money-wage or salary and a continuing relationship with the employer which it does not in general offer contractors or other irregular staff. However, wage labour takes many other forms, and explicit as opposed to implicit (i.e. conditioned by local labour and tax law) contracts are not uncommon. Economic history shows a great variety of ways in which labour is traded and exchanged. The differences show up in the form of:
      • employment status: a worker could be employed full-time, part-time, or on a casual basis. He or she could be employed for example temporarily for a specific project only, or on a permanent basis. Part-time wage labour could combine with part-time self-employment. The worker could be employed also as an apprentice.
      • civil (legal) status: the worker could for example be a free citizen, an indentured labourer, the subject of forced labour (including some prison or army labour); a worker could be assigned by the political authorities to a task, they could be a semi-slave or a serf bound to the land who is hired out part of the time. So the labour might be performed on a more or less voluntary basis, or on a more or less involuntary basis, in which there are many gradations.
      • method of payment (remuneration or compensation). The work done could be paid "in cash" (a money-wage) or "in kind" (through receiving goods and/or services), or in the form of “piece rates” where the wage is directly dependent on how much the worker produces. In some cases, the worker might be paid in the form of credit used to buy goods and services, or in the form of stock options or shares in an enterprise.
      • method of hiring: the worker might engage in a labour-contract on his or her own initiative, or he or she might hire out their labour as part of a group. But he or she may also hire out their labour via an intermediary (such as an employment agency) to a third party. In this case, he or she is paid by the intermediary, but works for a third party which pays the intermediary. In some cases, labour is subcontracted several times, with several intermediaries. Another possibility is that the worker is assigned or posted to a job by a political authority, or that an agency hires out a worker to an enterprise together with means of production.
  1. Template:Harvnb: "All labor contracts were/are designed legally to bind a worker in one way or another to fulfill the labor obligations the worker has undertaken. That is one of the principal purposes of labor contracts."
  2. Template:Harvnb.
    Template:Harvnb, defines wage labour succinctly as "the labour of the worker who sells his own labour-power."



    • QUOTE:Economically active population comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of labour for the production of economic goods and services as defined by the United Nations System of National Accounts during a specified time-reference period.

      The SNA (paras. 6.18 and 6.22) and Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 1, United Nations, 1998, Series M, No. 67, Rev. 1., define the economically active population ("usually active" or "currently active") comprising all persons of either sex above a specified age who furnish the supply of labour for the production of economic goods and services (employed and unemployed, including those seeking work for the first time), as defined by the System of National Accounts (SNA), during a specified time reference period. The economically active population may be related to the total population for the derivation of the crude participation rate, or, more appropriately, to the population above the age prescribed for the measurement of the economically active population. Production includes all individual or collective goods or services that are supplied to units other than their producers, or intended to be so supplied, including the production of goods or services used up in the process of producing such goods or services; the own-account production of all goods that are retained by their producers for their own final consumption or gross capital formation; the own-account production of housing services by owner-occupiers and of domestic and personal services produced by employing paid domestic staff. Not economically active population comprises the balance of the population.


< 1997

  • George Carlin
    • QUOTE: Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.