The labor force is the total number of people who are both employed and unemployed. Unemployed people include people who are actively looking for work. It does not include people who are too young, retired, or not actively looking for work.
Labor Force = Number of Employed + Number of Unemployed
An economy has 400,000 employed and 100,000 unemployed.
Labor Force = 400,000 + 100,000 = 500,000
Therefore, this economy has a labor force of 500,000 people.
Sources and more resources
- Wikipedia – Workforce – The description of the labor force (or workforce) statistic.
- US Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics – Labor force statistics from the current population survey – Statistics information on the U.S. labor force.
- International Labor Organization – Labor force – A glossary entry on the labor force, what it is, and definitions of employed and unemployed.
- The World Bank Data – Labor force, total – Statistical data on the global labor force, including country-specific data.