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Civilian Labor Force

total number of people 16 years old or older who are either employed or looking for work

Blue-Collar Workers

category of workers employed in crafts, manufacturing, and non-farm labor

White-Collar Workers

category of workers employed in offices, sales, or professional positions

Service Workers

people who provide services directly to individuals

Unskilled Workers

people whose jobs require no specialized training.

Semiskilled Workers

people whose jobs require some training, often using modern technology

Skilled Workers

people who have learned a trade or craft either through a vocational school or as an apprentice to an experienced worker


highly educated individuals with college degrees and usually additional education or training

Factors that Determine Wages

skill, type of job, location


talent, initiative, education and/or training, or experience

Type of Job

affects the amount the employer is willing to pay and a potential employee is willing to accept


scarce area=higher wage
heavily populated area=low wages

Minimum Wage

federal law that sets the lowest legal hourly wage rate that may be paid to certain types of workers

Labor Union

association of workers organized to improve wages and working conditions for its members


deliberate work stoppage by workers to force an employer to give in to their commands

Craft Union

union made up of skilled workers in a specific trade or industry

Industrial Union

union made up of all the workers in an industry regardless of job or skill level

Closed Shop

company in which only union members could be hired

Union Shop

company that requires new employees to join a union after a specific period of time

Agency Shop

company in which employees are not required to join the union, but must pay union dues

Local Union

members of a union in a particular factory, company, or geographic area

Right to Work Laws

state laws forbidding unions from forcing workers to join and pay union dues

Collective Bargaining

process by which unions and employers negotiate the conditions of employment

Cost-of-Living Adjustment

provision calling for a wage increase each year if the general level of prices rises


a neutral person tries to get both sides to reach an agreement during negotiations


union and management submit the issues they cannot agree on to a third party for a final decision


action of strikers who walk in front of a workplace carrying signs that state their disagreement with the company


economic pressure exerted by unions urging the public not to purchase the goods or services produced by a company


situation that occurs when management prevents workers from the returning to work until they agree to a new contract


court order preventing some activity

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