Definitions for labor force
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Ref: work force.
Origin of labor force:
labor force, labor pool(noun)
the source of trained people from which workers can be hired
The collective group of people who are available for employment, i.e. including both the employed and the unemployed.
In the United States, the unemployment rate is estimated by a household survey called the Current Population Survey, conducted monthly by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed persons by the size of the workforce and multiplying that number by 100, where an unemployed person is defined as a person not currently employed but actively seeking work. The size of the workforce is defined as those employed plus those unemployed. The labor force participation rate is the ratio between the labor force and the overall size of their cohort. In the West during the later half of the 20th century, the labor force participation rate increased significantly, largely due to the increasing number of women entering the workplace. In the United States, there were three significant stages of women’s increased participation in the labor force. During the late 19th century through the 1920s, very few women worked. Working women were often young single women who typically withdrew from labor force at marriage unless their family needed two incomes. These women worked primarily in the textile manufacturing industry or as domestic workers. This profession empowered women and allowed them to earn a living wage. At times, they were a financial help to their families. Between 1930 and 1950, female labor force participation increased primarily due to the increased demand for office workers, women participating in the high school movement, and electrification which reduced the time spent on household chores. In the 1950s to the 1970s, most women were secondary earners working mainly as secretaries, teachers, nurses, and librarians. Claudia Goldin and others, specifically point out that by the mid-1970s there was a period of revolution of women in the labor force brought on by different factors. Women more accurately planned for their future in the work force, choosing more applicable majors in college that prepared them to enter and compete in the labor market. In the United States, the labor force participation rate rose from approximately 59% in 1948 to 66% in 2005, with participation among women rising from 32% to 59% and participation among men declining from 87% to 73%.
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