Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume
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A distinction is generally made between the working population 1 or economically active population 1 and the unoccupied population 2 or economically inactive population 2. Generally speaking, the working population consists of those individuals engaged in gainful activities 3. A gainful activity, or economic activity 3, is an activity which contributes to the production of income. Unpaid family workers (353-5) are usually included in the economically active population. Homemakers 4 or housewives 4 engaged in unpaid domestic duties, students, retired workers, etc. are usually excluded. The members of the economically inactive population are sometimes referred to as dependents 5 (358-1) in the sense that they subsist on the product of the working population. (See, however, the different sense of this term stated in para. 358). The ratio of the working population to the total population, usually computed with reference to a given sex-age group or other category, is called the activity ratio 6 or labor force participation ratio 6.
- 1. The terms gainfully occupied population, gainful workers, labor force are used as synonyms for working population and economically active population.
For statistical measurement of the working population, the gainful worker concept or the labor force concept may be used. According to the gainful worker concept, the working population is defined as being composed of those persons who have a gainful activity which they normally exercise. According to the labor force concept, it is defined as the group of persons who were working at a gainful occupation or wanting or seeking such work during a specified period preceding the inquiry.
Workers 1 who make up the working population can be classified as employed 2 or unemployed 3. Under the labor force concept (350-1 *), only persons who were actively seeking work 4 or are on temporary layoff during the specified period are usually counted as unemployed. The employed population 5 consists of all those currently working for pay or profit. Among the economically active, a substantial portion of workers may be compelled by the economic conditions of the country or of the time, to perform less work than they would normally be able and willing to perform; in this instance, the terms underemployment 6 or partial unemployment 6 are used. Marginal workers 7 who only very occasionally participate in economic activity, are most often classified as not in the labor force under the gainful worker concept (350-1 *).
- 2. Employed, n. and adj. - employment, n.: situation of an individual exercising an economic activity. Employment status refers to the classification as either employed or unemployed.
- 3. Unemployed, n. and adj. - unemployment, n.
- 6. One refers occasionally to underutilization of the labor force. Under-employ-ment and underutilization also sometimes refer to the situation of persons who perform below their level of qualification.
The occupational classification 1 of the working population (350-1) shows its members grouped by occupation 2. The similarity of the work done by workers, including the similarity of skills and training required are the main criteria used for grouping occupations into occupational groups 3 or occupational classes 3.
- 1. For purposes of comparability, the International Labour Office has prepared an International Standard Classification of Occupations.
The working population (350-1) is also usually classified by work status 1. In this classification employers 2 are distinguished from employees 3 on the one hand and from workers on own account 4 or independent workers 4 on the other. The latter do not employ labor for pay, but they, as well as employers, may be assisted by unpaid family workers 5 or family helpers 5 who are usually distinguished as a separate group. A combination of occupational and status classifications may be used to construct social status categories 6.
- 1. The classification by status (as employer, employee, etc.) is designated by many different terms in the censuses of various countries, including "industrial status", "states in employment", "position in industry," "class of worker," etc.
- 2. Managers are sometimes counted with employers though they are themselves employed.
Various sub-groups of the category of employees (353-3) are sometimes distinguished. One such sub-group is home workers 1 or cottage workers 1, who work in their own homes, sometimes for several employers. Among the employees a distinction is sometimes made between manual workers 2 and non-manual workers 3 or clerical and office workers 3. Manual workers may be further sub-divided according to their skill 4, with skilled workers 5, semi-skilled workers 6, and unskilled workers 7 being distinguished. Apprentices 8 are sometimes shown as a sub-category of employees.
- 2. Another type of classification of employees is that which distinguishes between wage earners who are paid daily or weekly and salaried employees who are paid monthly or at even less frequent intervals. The statistics of the United States distinguish four broad occupational categories: white collar workers; blue collar workers, including craftsmen, operatives and non-farm laborers; service workers; and farm workers (cf. 356).
- 7. A laborer is an unskilled worker, who does very heavy physical work.
Among the employees (353-3) a distinction is often made between the managerial staff 1, who make policy decisions; the executive staff 2 who apply the decisions; and supervisors 3 or foremen 3 who direct the operatives.
- 1. The term executive in the United States of America refers to a member of the managerial staff.
Special classifications apply in agriculture. Farmers 1 or farm operators 1 are those who farm the land for profit; among them we distinguish between farm-owners 2, who own their land, tenant farmers 3, who rent it from a landlord, and share-croppers 3, who give a portion of the crop in return for the use of land and livestock. Agricultural laborers 4 are persons working who are employed by farmers.
- 2. A farm manager who is salaried is generally classed as a farmer.
- 3. In Scotland a small farmer is sometimes called a crofter. A farmer with a very small farm is also known as a smallholder.
- 4. Agricultural laborers are of three general types: fulltime agricultural laborers, day laborers, and seasonal agricultural laborers. This last category often consists of migrant laborers.
The working population may also be classified by industry 1 or branch of economic activity 1. This classification depends on the nature of the firm 2 or establishment 2 that the individual works for. Generally importance is attached to the division of the population into agricultural workers 3 and non-agricultural workers 4. Government employees 5 are sometimes, and military personnel 6 or members of the armed forces 6 are generally shown separately, but employees of public enterprises are counted as a rule with the rest of the industrial population. Industries are generally classified in three sectors, the primary sector 7 (agriculture, hunting, fishing and mining), the secondary sector 8 (manufacturing, construction and utilities), and the tertiary sector 9 (commerce, finance, transport industries, and service industries). In developing countries the traditional sector 10 is often listed separately and opposed to the modern sector of the economy.
- 1. For purposes of international comparability, the United Nations have prepared an International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities.
- 5. A civil servant is an employee (353-3) of the central government An official is an employee of a public body but the term is occasionally used for salaried employees of large companies. A distinction is often drawn between government employees and private workers.
The economically inactive population may be divided into dependents 1 (350-5) and self-supporting persons 2. Dependents depend for their support on the efforts of earners 3 or breadwinners 3; this is for example the case of housewives (350-4) and dependent children 4. Self-supporting persons have sufficient means for their subsistence. They may be rentiers 5 or persons of independent means 5, retired persons or pensioners 6. A special category of dependents is that of persons receiving public assistance 7 or public welfare recipients 7. Persons incapable of work are called unemployable 8. The ratio of the inactive to the active population is called the economic dependency ratio 9.
- 1. Dependent or dependant, n. - dependent, adj. - dependency or dependancy, n.: the state of being dependent.
- 9. The ratio of the young and the elderly to the adult population is called the age dependency ratio.
It is possible to classify the population by the sector of economic activity from which they derive their livelihood, dependants being put into the same category as their breadwinners. We speak of the population dependent on 1 a particular branch of activity and in particular of the population dependent on agriculture 2. The term agricultural population 2 is sometimes used as a synonym, but may also be employed in the sense of farm population 2 which lives on farms or is dependent on agriculture and which is distinguished from the non-farm population 3 or non-agricultural population 3.
The infirm 1 or handicapped 1 are often separately shown in censuses. They are classified according to the nature of their infirmity 2 or handicap 2. Physical infirmities 3 or physical handicaps 3 such as blindness, or deaf-mutism are generally distinguished from mental infirmities 4 or mental handicaps 4, such as feeblemindedness or dementia.
The study of the working life 1 of individuals includes the study of the accession to the labor force 2 and of the separation from the labor force 3. At accession it is possible to distinguish those who have never been active, from those who belonged to the labor force at an earlier date; separations may be listed by cause, e.g. death, retirement 4, temporary withdrawal. The analysis may proceed by cohort or period, and it involves rates of accession to the tabor force 5, or probabilities of accession to the labor force 6, rates of separation from the labor force 7 or probabilities of separation from the labor force 8, eventually by cause; these indices are computed by age or age-group.
These indices serve to compute tables of working life 1, by period or cohort. In addition to the probabilities described in the previous paragraph, these tables contain the distributions by age at accession to the labor force 2 and by age at separation from the labor force 3, (eventually by cause, before and after accounting for mortality), the mean age at accession to the labor force 4 and the mean age at separation from the labor force 5. The expectation of working life 6, the gross expectation of working life 7 (which excludes the effect of mortality) and the net expectation of working life 8 (which includes it) all represent the mean number of years of working life that remain to be lived at each age by the active population. For those entering the labor force at that age, this expectation constitutes the mean duration of working life 9; a similar index can be computed for all ages at accession taken together.
- 1. Such tables are computed when temporary withdrawals from the labor force are a negligible proportion of the total, and this condition is approximately realized for males. For females, it is necessary to distinguish first accession to the labor force, or entry into the labor force, from re-entry into the labor force.
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