Employment definition and concept

The relationship of societies with respect to employment is one of the main indicators that measure their development. Thus, the more developed countries tend towards full employment or, what is the same, that labor supply and demand reach the point of equilibrium; while in less developed nations unemployment abounds  , where workers do not get a job, and underemployment, with which trained people must perform lower-skilled jobs, or work fewer hours than they need or want.

In these situations, the existence of hidden jobs is very common, where the employer finds it much cheaper to hire the employee, they are illegal and are called black jobs, where workers do not enjoy the benefits of labor laws, such as holidays, pay extras or indemnities in your case. On the other hand, not all those who use their labor force do so for other people; there are individuals who work in their own business: they are the self-employed, who exercise their activity with some risk since the company can yield both benefits and losses.

The current conception of the term “employment” is related to the arrival of the 19th century, when both slavery – the very beginning of humanity – and serfdom – typical of the Middle Ages – were eradicated, thanks to the recognition of freedom and respect for the physical and moral integrity of man.

It was in this period when the Industrial Revolution led to many of the protections that safeguard the worker of our day. The replacement of labor by machinery had at first a pernicious impact on society, as long as it brought misery to a large number of employees. However, this helpless position of the worker led to the establishment of unions that were committed to defending their interests.

After the Second World War, the birth of the Welfare State took place – based on the theories of the economist John Maynard Keynes – where the workers, perfectly organized in unions, managed to recognize what we now know as “labor rights”. From that moment, the employees began to enjoy vacations, pay, weekly rest days according to what they worked and days of no more than eight hours, while the salaries of the time were visibly increased.

At present, employment is a difficult circumstance to guarantee for the entire labor supply, which means that the states try to reduce the number of unemployed to the minimum and, in short, alleviate the negative consequences that derive from the situation.

According to the World Bank, the total active population includes people aged 15 and over who meet the definition of the International Labor Organization of the economically active population: all persons who contribute work for the production of goods and services during a specific period. It includes both people with employment and unemployed people.

Although national practices vary in the treatment of groups such as the armed forces or seasonal or part-time workers, in general, the active population includes the armed forces, the unemployed, those seeking their first job, but excludes those who care for the home and other unpaid workers and careers.

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