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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 who take part in the production of economic goods and services, including unpaid family workers in an economic enterprise as well as persons who work for pay or profit. On occasions, however, only those pursuing a gainful occupation 3 are included in the working population. 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 dependants 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 rate 5 or labour force participation rate 6.
- 1. The terms gainfully occupied population, gainful workers, labour force are often used as synonyms for working population and economically active population. These expressions are also used in another sense in accordance with the gainful worker concept or with the labour force concept (cf. para. 351).
- 5. The ratio of the economically inactive population to the working population, or a similar ratio computed with respect to the male population only, may be called the dependancy ratio.
For statistical measurement of the working population (350-1), the gainful worker concept or the labour force concept may be used. According to the gainful worker (350-1*) concept, the working population is defined as being composed of those persons who have a gainful occupation (350-3) which they normally exercise. According to the labour force (350-1*) 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. Where a distinction is made between employed 1 (353-3) and unemployed 2 members of the working population (350-1), this classification is sometimes called employment status 3 (353-1) or work status 3. Under the labour force concept, only persons who were actually seeking work 4 during the specified period are usually counted as unemployed. Those seeking work who have not been previously employed are called inexperienced workers 5 or sometimes new workers 5; the remainder of the labour force being designated as the experienced labour force 6 or experienced workers 6.
The occupational classification 1 of the working population (350-1) shows its members grouped by occupation 2. An occupational group 3 or occupational class 3 may contain a number of occupations which either have a common social status (353-1*) or are otherwise linked.
The working population (350-1) is also usually classified by employment status 1 (351-3) (as employer, employee etc.). In this classification employers 2 are distinguished from employees 3 (or the employed 3 (351-1)) on the one hand and from workers on own account 4 or independent workers 4 on the other. The latter do not employ labour 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", "status in employment", "social status", "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, who work in their own homes, sometimes for several employers. Among the employees a distinction is sometimes made between manual workers 2 or operatives 2 and non-manual workers 3 or clerical and office workers 3 and others. Manual workers maybe further sub-divided according to their skill 4, 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.
- 7. A labourer 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 (cf. 204-3) 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, and tenant farmers 3, who rent it from a landlord. Agricultural labourers 4 are persons working on the land who are employed by farmers.
- 2. A bailiff or 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.
The working population may also be classified by industry 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. Officials 5, civil servants 5 and government employees 5 as well as 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 7.
- 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 dependants 1 (350-5) and self-supporting persons 2. Dependants depend for their support on the efforts of earners 3 or breadwinners 3; self-supporting persons have sufficient means for their subsistence. They may be rentiers 4 or persons of independent means 4, retired persons 5 or pensioners 5. A special category is that of persons in receipt of public assistance 6, who are generally unemployable 7 or incapable of work 7.
- 1. dependant (U. S. spelling dependent) n. — dependent adj. — dependency or depen-dancy n., the state of being dependent.
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. Physical infirmities 3 such as blindness, or deaf-mutism are generally distinguished from mental infirmities 4, such as idiocy or dementia.
The study of economic activity 1 includes the determination of age at entry 2 into employment and of age at withdrawal 3 or age at retirement 3 (324-7). The period between age at entry and age at retirement is called working life 4. Occasionally, the expectation of working life 5 of persons of a given sex and age is computed; analogous to the computation of the expectation of life (433-3) this shows the mean length of time for which a cohort (116-2) of persons would continue as members of the labour force.
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