What Is An Unskilled Labor?

Unskilled labor offers an important part of the overall labor market, performing daily production tasks that do not depend on technical abilities or skills. Typical unskilled labor positions are menial or repetitive tasks. Jobs which can be fully learned within 30 days often fall under the unskilled labor category.

Unskilled labor is used to identify both the type of work being completed and the employee completing it. They are usually menial and repetitive in nature, requiring little or no education or training to be completed successfully. These positions are mainly low paying and considered entry-level.

When the term describes a person or employee completing the tasks, unskilled labor indicates the lack of education or experience the person may have. Often times, this lack of skills prevents them from participating in the most basic of positions, needing very little training to complete the assigned tasks.

Similar Terms
A term related in nature to unskilled labor is ‘low-skilled labor’. It also denotes a lack of education or training necessary for employment, it may slightly differ from unskilled labor depending on the context. This can require basic skills training for the work to be completed successfully, which may include entry-level positions within food service and retail environments.

Semi-skilled, or mid-skilled, labor includes those persons or positions requiring a level of basic knowledge, experience or training to successfully complete the tasks. Usually, the skills don’t require being really specialized but have more complexity than unskilled positions. For instance; customer service representatives, delivery drivers, and entry-level administrative assistants.

Skilled labor includes persons or positions requiring a specialized skill obtained to complete some given tasks. Skilled labor can have varieties of advanced education, training or experience. Ranging from electricians and lab technicians to lawyers and computer programmers. However, some semi-skilled jobs, such as administrative assistants, can need advanced skill sets that lead them to be categorized as skilled instead of semi-skilled positions.