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Factors of Production, Labor

government tax forms, homemakers, manual labor, illegal activities, dentists

Labor refers to the routine work that people do in their jobs, whether it is performing manual labor, managing employees, or providing skilled professional services. Manual labor usually refers to physical work that requires little formal education or training, such as shoveling dirt or moving furniture. Managers include those who supervise other workers. Examples of skilled professionals include doctors, lawyers, and dentists.

Of the 270 million people living in the United States in 1998, nearly 138 million adults were working or actively looking for work. This is the nation's labor force, which includes those who work for wages and salaries and those who file government tax forms for income earned through self-employment. It does not include homemakers or others who perform unpaid labor in the home, such as raising, caring for, and educating children; preparing meals and maintaining the home; and caring for family members who are ill. Nor, of course, does it count those who do not report income to avoid paying taxes, in some cases because their work involves illegal activities.

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