A worker is a person with employment, which consists largely of physical work without independence.

By economic sectors agricultural workers, industrial workers, and workers have to be distinguished in service industries such as freight forwarding.

A distinction is also skilled workers, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. That one by special education with final examination is for skilled workers, is largely a peculiarity of the German language area, whereas otherwise the transition from semi-skilled workers is fluid.

How much responsibility plays a worker is very different in each individual case and ranges since the 1980s at Toyota so far that every worker is called in the Production Line to stop in case of doubt the entire production, which would in other companies result in immediate termination.

The number following the Industrial Revolution labor movement had a significant influence on the course of world politics.


In Germany a distinction is made between workers, employees and officials, which is not common worldwide.

Until the reform of the Works Constitution Act in 2001, a distinction was made between legal workers and employees, § 5 paragraph 1 WCA both subsumed under the generic term "employee".

This statutory change showed effects on some collective bargaining agreements. Thus the separation of workers and employees - the same or a similar activity perform in many industrial operations - lifted, about the collective agreement for the public sector ( TvöD ) and in the collective agreement on pay framework agreement.


From the figure it is clear how the number of workers has declined steadily from 1962 to 2003 and has increased the number of employees. This evaluation is based on the numbers of insured LVAen and the Federal Labour Office ( ie without considering the number of civil servants). Meanwhile, in Germany there are more employees than workers.

Workers and employees were ( in Germany ) until October 1, 2005 by different organizations pension insurance ( workers in the country's insurance companies, employees in the Federal Insurance Institute for Salaried Employees ). This separation between the pension insurance of workers and employees was repealed with effect from 1 January 2005. With the founding of the German Pension Fund on October 1, 2005, the classification of different pension funds is based on a distribution key, not according to the classification as a worker or employee. With the Law on Compensation of employer expenses and amending other laws (AAG ) of 22 December 2005 this status is no longer relevant to the PAYG system for the ( partial) reimbursement of the cost of continued pay in case of illness. In the health insurance law and protection against dismissal, the distinction for many years no longer exists in workers and employees.