A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining,construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work. Often something is physically being built or maintained.
In contrast, the white-collar worker typically performs work in an office environment and may involve sitting at a computer or desk. A third type of work is a service worker whose labor is related to customer interaction, entertainment sales or other service oriented work. Pink collar workers are typically service workers. Many occupations blend blue, white and/or service industry categorizations.
Blue-collar work is often paid hourly wage-labor however some professionals may be paid by the project or salaried. There is a wide range of payscales for such work depending upon field of specialty and experience.
With the information revolution Western nations have moved towards a service and white collar economy. Many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to developing nations which pay their workers lower wages. This outsourcing of jobs has pushed formerly agrariannations to industrialized economies and concurrently decreased the number of blue-collar jobs in developed countries.
In the United States an area known as the Rust Belt comprising The Midwest, Western New York and Western Pennsylvania, has seen its once large manufacturing base shrink significantly. With the de-industrialization of these areas starting in the mid 1960s cities likeCleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, Buffalo, New York, Niagara Falls, New York and Saint Louis, Missouri, have experienced a steady decline of the blue-collar workforce and subsequent population decreases. Due to this economic osmosis, the rust belt has experienced high unemployment, poverty and urban blight.
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