What is Labour? What are the features of Labour in economics?

Meaning: -Labour is the human effort (both physical and mental) by people belonging to the working age group, which is used in the process of production for which a reward or remuneration is paid either in kind or in cash. Any human effort for which a reward or remuneration is not received cannot be called as labour, even if labour contributes to the productive activity in the economy.

Definition: -“Labour is any exertion of mind or body undergone partly or wholly with a view to earning some good other than the pleasure derived directly from the work”
Defined by..................................... (Alfred Marshal)                   

Following are the some of the important Features of Labour are

1.      Living Factor: -Labour is a human resource and it is a living factor having its own feelings of likes and dislikes.

2.      Perishable Factor: - The services of the Labour cannot be separated from the labourer. It cannot be saved. It is perishable in the sense that if a worker does not work on a particular day, the Labour for that day is lost forever.

3.      Heterogeneous Factor: - Skills and efficiency of the workers differs from worker to worker. There are various factors determining the efficiency of the Labour, viz., education, training, experience, etc.

4.      Derived Demand: -Demand forLabour is a derived demand. The demand for Labour depends on the demand for goods and services produced by the Labour.

5.      Active Factor: - Labour is the active factor of production. It puts to use other factor of production such as land and capital. Without labour, other factors of production are meaningless.

6.      Labour is inseparable from the labourer: - Labour is inseparable from labourer. One can not separate labour from labourer.

7.      Relatively immobile: - Labour is relatively immobile. It lacks, to a certain extent, geographical and occupational mobility. This is because; it is not easy for a worker to move easily from one occupation to another occupation and form one region to another region.

8.       Inter-dependence: - Labour is inter-dependent on other factors of production. Labour requires land, capital and enterprise to be active in production.

9.  Wages/Salary as Reward: -Labour gets wages or salaries as reward for its services. The wages depends upon factors such as (a) Nature of the work.  (b) Ability of the employer to pay (c) cost of living (d) skills of the worker etc..

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