Economic Job Classifications

Essay by princessbuttercupHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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White-collar workers are people who work in less labour demanding jobs; commonly desk jobs. These workers are generally paid more than blue-collar workers. Many workers in this classification are not "upper class", as was once thought.

Salaried professionals, such as some doctors or lawyers, are classified as white-collar workers. Those with administrative, clerical and, in some cases, manager positions are also considered to be white-collar employees. In many businesses, white-collar workers may carry out blue-collar responsibilities (or vice versa).

Many companies have their own classifications within the white-collar system. These differences are based on the quality of the workspace, the responsibilities the worker may have, the privileges awarded, and salary earned. For example, a high ranking executive (such as a CEO) is usually rewarded a large corner office with a great view and has more broad and fundamental responsibilities. On the other hand, a lesser ranked, more "typical" employee may work in a small, windowless workspace and may be responsible for more specific and limited errands.

The term "white-collar" originates from the customary white, button-down shirts that are worn by these workers. Since these shirts are easily dirtied, they should be worn by those who usually don't "get their hands dirty".

In the agrarian and early industrial societies, white-collar workers were the minority; they have become the majority in the industrialized world. The technology revolution had made it so a large imbalance has occurred in the workforce; there are much more white-collar jobs and much less manual factory work (blue-collar jobs).

A pink-collar worker is one who does work that is traditionally seen as being "women's work"; jobs such as secretarial work, typing, and telephone operators. These jobs are considered to be "secondary labour market jobs" - that is jobs that are low in status and pay and have...