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Economics 9 - Labor


Read these links -

10 Tips For the Graduating Class of 2012

Table 2.3 Industries with the fastest growing and most rapidly declining wage and salary employment

10 Jobs That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago

Growing Industries In Need Of Workers In 2012

5 New Tech Jobs And What They Pay 


10 of the Best Jobs for the Future


PowerPoint - Chapter 9 Labor



1.   Employers are hiring more women and temporary workers as the economy shifts from manufacturing to services.


2-      In the labor market, wages are determined mostly by supply and demand.


3-      Labor unions were created to improve working conditions for their members.





Figure 2

 Hyperlink - Specific Details within each occupational area.

Economists define the labor force as nonmilitary workers over 16 who are employed or unemployed. People who are not looking for work, such as students, full-time parents, and retirees, are not considered part of the labor force.


Figure 3


Hyperlink- Video Clip - Jobs of 2020 - UT Professor Shares Insight 2 minutes

One trend (Census link go to pages 26-31) in the U. S. economy is the shift from manufacturing to services. Production of services is increasing faster than the production of goods—especially in computer-related fields.


Hyperlink - U.S. & World Population Clock


Another important trend is the increasing numbers of women in the workplace. Changing social roles have encouraged many women to gain education and employment skills.


Hyperlink - Go to page 9 & 10 on this link.  Some powerful stats here.  Top and bottom occupations within each education level.


A third trend is the rise of contingent employment, or temporary work. Firms use contingent employment to gain flexibility and to save money. It is easier to discharge temporary workers than permanent employees, so firms can quickly adjust the number of workers to increase or decrease output.





What is the correalation between these employment trends and the economy?



Outsourcing Trends: Vendors Offer Efficiencies to Employers, Opportunities to Pros



American workers are paid well compared to people in some countries. However, the average earnings of college graduates has increased, while the average earnings of those without college degrees has decreased by a large amount. One reason for this is that competition from foreign companies has decreased the demand for low-skilled workers.

Outsourcing (in the U.S.) is when U.S. companies use workers in other countries to perform jobs that were previously done by U.S. workers.


Hyperlink - Salary Wizard - by occupation and zip code.  Where would like to live?



In a competitive labor market, the price of labor—the wage rate—is determined largely by supply and demand. Workers are paid according to their productivity, the level of output produced. Competitive demand for labor drives wages up. Some firms attempt to cut labor costs by substituting machines for people. Labor supply comes from households. The higher the wage, the larger the quantity of labor supplied. The equilibrium wage is the wage rate that produces neither an excess supply of workers nor an excess demand for workers

Wages adjusting as supply and demand meet


Wages as labor increases


 Jobs can be classified into four skill levels.  Semiskilled labor requires minimal specialized skills and education. Unskilled labor requires no specialized skills or training. Skilled labor requires specialized skills and training. Professional labor requires advanced skills and education. Workers with higher skill levels usually receive higher wages. In addition, union members tend to earn higher wages than nonunion workers in similar jobs. In the 1960s, Congress outlawed wage discrimination based on gender or race. Yet women still earn about 75 percent of men's earnings, and minorities tend to earn lower pay than whites.


US Demographic Profile



Affirmative Action -  For federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. Affirmative actions include training programs, outreach efforts, and other positive steps. These procedures should be incorporated into the company’s written personnel policies. Employers with written affirmative action programs must implement them, keep them on file and update them annually.


 The glass ceiling, an unofficial and invisible barrier in some workplaces, prevents some women and

minorities from advancing in certain companies.






The labor union movement, which took shape over more than a century, was largely a response to changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution and the dangerous conditions and long hours of new factory jobs. Samuel Gompers, who founded the American Federation of Labor in 1886, focused on three reforms: higher wages, shorter hours, and safer work environments.


 Union membership peaked in the 1940s. In 1947, in an effort to curb union power, Congress passed the Taft- Hartley Act, which allowed states to pass right-to-work laws. Since the 1940s, overall union membership has dropped to 13.5 percent of the labor force.



 In a union workplace, management and labor periodically come together to negotiate employment contracts for wages and benefits, working conditions, and job security using the process of collective bargaining.


If a deadlock occurs, the union members may vote to strike -a process whereby workers refuse to work.  It is a tool of last resort.  It  may be damaging to both labor and management. Sometimes the two sides agree to mediation in which a third party is asked to find a solution both parties will accept. However, mediation is not binding.


If it fails, the talks may go to arbitration in which the third party’s decision is legally binding.






















Why couldn't we buy Twinkies?

 Public sector vs.

Private sector jobs.


Social Studies Learning Standard 4: Economics


(New YorkState Core Curriculum Guide)


Unit IV. Labor and Business in the United States

A. Roles and responsibilities of workers

1. Evolving roles of workers in business (e.g., providing input to

    management, working in teams)

·         What makes a good team player?

2. Matching worker qualifications and skills with business needs

·         What would be some good skill sets to have as you look for a career?

National Standards:  13, 18, I

B. Composition of the workforce

1. Changing roles of women, teenagers, the elderly, and minorities

2. Population and demographic trends

3. Experience, location, and skill needs

4. Affirmative action issues

5. Changing skill mix and skill requirements

6. Costs and benefits of hiring immigrants

C. Compensation and rewards

1. Factors leading to job satisfaction versus factors resulting in


2. Salary versus wages versus ownership

3. Fringe benefits

4. Employer-of-choice issues (e.g., benefits, working conditions,

     incentives, flex time, corporate values)

·         Students might debate the topic: “Resolved: Affirmative action is an important tool to allow women and minorities to gain greater access to education and employment.”


D. Labor-management relations

1. History of labor-management relations

2. Labor unions and their changing roles over time; collective bargaining

3. Labor laws

4. Programs promoting improved labor-management relations

5. Unemployment issues, including structural unemployment

6. International labor issues—child labor, worker exploitation, and


7. Open borders, migrant workers, and competition from new immigrants



Key terms and concepts

  • labor markets

  • full employment

  • Comparable worth

  • productivity



Pages 22 & 23