Define: Labour Force

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Labour Force


Full Definition of Labour Force

In macroeconomic statistics, the labour force is the sum of all employed and unemployed adults. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the approximate size of the labour force regularly. Each individual age 16 or above is categorized as being employed, unemployed, or not in the labour force, according to current and recent guidelines. The most common reasons for a non-child to be classified not in the labour forces are to be retired, a student, or institutionalized. The size of the labour force changes over time. Labour force fluctuations occur due to a combination of demographic, social, and seasonal trends as well as macroeconomic conditions. In general, the majority of the population is part of the labour force. For example, the US labour force in 2000 averaged 141 million. In addition, the population included about another 69 million people not in the labour force.


Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Labour Force. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. March 30, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Labour Force. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: March 30, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Labour Force. Retrieved March 30, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Labour Force are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 10th February 2020.