Peculiarities of Labour

Labor is manifestly different from the other factors of production. It is a living thing. and that makes all the difference. Labor is not only a means of production but ‘also an end of production. There are certain characteristics which distinguish labor from the rest of the factors of production:

(i) Labor is inseparable from the laborer himself.

(ii) Labor has to sell his labor in person.

(iii) Labour does not last. It is perishable. As Erich Roll remarks, he has no reserve price.The laborer has, therefore, to accept the wage offered to him.

(iv) Labor has a very weak bargaining power.

(v) Changes in the price of labour react rather curiously on its supply. In the case of ordinary commodities. supply is directly proportionate to price, i.e , the higher the price the greater the supply, and vice verse. But, in the case of labour, a fall in price (i.e., wage) below a certain point may increase the supply. For instance, some members of the family, who were not working before, may start working to supplement the family income.

(v’i) There can be no rapid adjustment of the supply of labour to demand for it, because supply cannot be increased quickly, nor can it be reduced.

When making of an article is split p Into several processes and each process is entry ted to a separate set of workers, it is called division of labour. The division of labour is of the following main types

Simple Division of Labour. This means division of society into major occupations, e.g., carpenters, blacksmiths. weavers etc. It may also be called functional division of labour.

Complex Division of Labour. In this case, no group of workers makes a complete article. Instead, the making of an article is split up into a number of processes and ub-processes and each process or sub process is carried out by a separate group of people. This is division of labour proper.

Territorial Division of Labour. This form of division of labour refers to certain localities. cities or towns special sing in the production of some commodity. This is also called Localisation of Industries.