The terms “blue collar” and “white collar” was coined in the early 20th century by Upton Sinclair; these terms are occupational classifications that distinguish workers who perform manual labor from workers who perform professional jobs.
Historically, blue-collar workers wore uniforms, usually blue, and worked in trade occupations. White-collar workers typically wore white, button down shirts and worked in office settings. Other aspects that distinguish blue-collar and white-collar workers include earnings and education level.
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Blue-Collar Worker –This term was first used in 1924; it is a member of the working class, who performs manual labor and earns an hourly wage. It originates from the popularity that blue color enjoys among manual-laborers.
White-Collar Worker – The term “white-collar worker” was coined in the 1930’s by Upton Sinclair; it is a salaried professional, typically referring to general office workers and management. It originates from color of dress shirts worn by professional and clerical workers.
Gold-Collar Worker– was first used by Robert Earl Kelley in his 1985 book The Gold-Collar Worker; It is a newly formed phrase which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury (often with parental support). It is also used to refer to highly-skilled knowledge people who are highly valuable to the company. Example: Lawyers, doctors, research scientists, etc.
Gray-Collar Worker – refers to the balance of employed people not classified as white or blue collar. Although grey-collar is something used to describe those who work beyond the age of retirement. Example: Fire fighters, police officers, health care professionals, Security Guards, etc.
Green-Collar Worker – was first used by Patrick Heffernan in 1976; it is a worker who is employed in the environmental sectors of the economy. Example: People working in alternate energy sources like solar panels, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for nature etc.
Pink-Collar Worker – is employed in a job that is traditionally considered to be women’s work and is often low-paid. The term “pink-collar” was popularized in the late 1990’s by writer and social critic Louise Kapp Howe specially who performs jobs in the service industry example: nurses, secretaries, and elementary school teachers.
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