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Grey-collar refers to the balance of employed people not classified as white- or blue collar. It is used to refer to occupations that incorporate some of the elements of both blue- and white-collar, and generally are in between the two categories in terms of income-earning capability.
Examples of grey-collar industries:
- Teachers, fire fighters, police officers, nurses, and medical technicians
- Farming, fishing, forestry, and other forms of agribusiness
- Health care, elderly care, child care, and the personal service sector
- Protective services and security
- Food preparation and the catering industry
- High tech technicians
- Skilled trades, technicians, etc.
- Typists, stenographers, and paralegals
Grey-collar workers often have associate degrees from a community college in a particular field. They are unlike blue-collar workers in that blue-collar workers can often be trained on the job within several weeks whereas grey-collar workers already have a specific skill set.
The field which most recognizes the diversity between these two groups is that of human resources and the insurance industry. These different groups must be insured differently for liability as the potential for injury is different.
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- "China strives to cultivate grey collar workers". People's Daily. 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Sostek, Anya (2006-08-11). "It's not just blue or white collar anymore as consultants labels for new jobs to the pallette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
The least defined term of all seems to be grey collar, which can refer to those working well into their 60s, because they can't afford to retire, or to an underemployed white collar worker, such as someone with a bachelor's degree in English literature working as a customer service representative.
- "Business Groups Attack New York City’s ‘Lavish’ Health Benefits". Workforce Management. 2009-12-18.