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10/27/2014 What is Labour and Labourer ?

Meaning and Features of Labour


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What is Labour and Labourer ?
Meaning and Features of Labour
Post : Gaurav Akrani Date : 11/25/2010 10:21:00 AM IST
No Comments Labels : Economics
What is Labour and Labourer ? Meaning
Usually, the term 'Labour' is used for 'worker'. But, technically, it is not correct.
Labour and Labourer (worker) are two different things.
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10/27/2014 What is Labour and Labourer ? Meaning and Features of Labour
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Labour is an ability to work. Labour is a broad concept because it includes
both physical and mental labour (as per above picture). Labour is a primary or
human factor of production. It indicates human resource.
Labourer is a person who owns labour. So labourer means worker. It is a
person engaged in some work.
Peculiarities / Features / Characteristics of Labour
1. Labour is inseparable from labourer
Labour can not be separated from labourer. Worker sells their service and
doesn't sell themselves.
2. Labour is a perishable factor
Labour can not be stored. Once the labour is lost, it can not be made up.
Unemployed workers can not store their labour for future employment.
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10/27/2014 What is Labour and Labourer ? Meaning and Features of Labour
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3. Cost of producing a labour cannot be determined
It is easy to calculate production cost of a commodity produced in an industry.
But cost of producing a labour is a vague concept because it includes
expenses incurred by parents on education of their children and other
expenses incurred on them right from their birth date. It is impossible to
estimate all such casts accurately.
4. Labour is an active factor of production
Other factors like land, capital are passive, but labour is an active factor of
production. Being a human being, this factor has its own feelings, likes and
dislikes, thinking power, etc. We can achieve better quality and level of
production, if land and capital are employed properly in close association with
Labour. So without labour, we cannot imagine the smooth conduct of
production.
5. Labour is a heterogeneous factor
No two persons possess the same quality of labour. Skills and efficiency
differs from person to person. So, some workers are more efficient than
others in the same job.
6. Labour has imperfect mobility
Labour doesn't move easily from one occupation to another because of
several factors like family and cultural background, limited educational and
technical skills, lifestyle, housing and transport problems, language barrier,
adaptability to new environments, etc.
7. Labour supply is inelastic in general
Supply of labour depends upon many factors like size of population, age and
sex composition, desire to work, quality of education, attitude towards work,
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10/27/2014 What is Labour and Labourer ? Meaning and Features of Labour
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etc. Thus, supply cannot be changed easily according to changes in demand.
Hence, in general, labour supply is inelastic. But for a particular industry, it
may be relatively elastic.
8. Labour is a human capital
Society makes investment in labour in the forms of education, health, training,
etc. This improves efficiency of labour. So, it is a human capital.
9. Trade unionism is a factor of Labour
Workers collectively form their organization which is known as trade union.
With this, they bargain with their employers and there by secure higher wages
and better working conditions. Such trade unionism is not possible in other
factors of production like land, else works only in case of labour (labourer).
10. Labour has a derived demand
Like other factors of production, labour has a derived / indirect demand. It
contributes to production process.
11. Labour is a Mean as well as an End
Labour is a mean of production in factory. But outside the factory premises
worker may be a consumer of that product. So, he might be an end user of
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10/27/2014 What is Labour and Labourer ? Meaning and Features of Labour
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