Factors of Production – Labour
Labour: It can be defined as any exertion of mind or body undergone partly or wholly with a view to earning some good other than the pleasure derived directly from the work.
In short labour in economic means that any type of work performed by a labourer with an intention to earn income.
Peculiarities of Labour: The important peculiarities of labour are as under.
Labour is inseparable from the labourer: Here labour means a quantum of work performed while labourer means who perform the work (e.g. labour). Therefore, the labour’s work has to be delivered in person.
Labourer sells his services not himself: If labourer is employed means an employer only pays in the form of wages on account of services received from the labourer. Thus labourer is only selling his services not himself.
Labour is more perishable than other commodity: If time passes, it lapses forever. Therefore a day lost which out work means the days work gone for ever. That is why many times workers have to accept lower wages rather than earn nothing.
Labourer has not the same power of bargaining as their employers. This is because labour can not be stored up and labourers are poor and ignorant.
Man, not a machine: A labourer differs from machine. He can not render services like machine. After all labourer is man and he has feelings and likings. If good surrounding, health, recreation is provided, he can work efficiently otherwise he will not work efficiently.
Less mobile: Generally labourer does not want to leave his home. It is therefore labour is such less mobile a compared to other factors.
Supply Independent of its demand: The supply of labour is always independent of its demand and cannot be easily and quickly increased or decreased. If supply of labour is surplus, their numbers can be reduced only by a painful process of starvation. But when sudden increase demand for labour, as during war, wages will rise but supply can not be quickly increased.
Labourer differs in efficiency: Like machinery every worker can not render same quantum of work labourer they very inefficiency and therefore wages differ from labourer to labourer.