work·​force | \ˈwərk-ˌfȯrs \

Definition of workforce 

1 : the workers engaged in a specific activity or enterprise the factory's workforce

2 : the number of workers potentially assignable for any purpose the nation's workforce

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Examples of workforce in a Sentence

We have a workforce of 2,400 people. the office's entire workforce is devoted to a single project right now

Recent Examples on the Web

Currently, women make up less than 3 percent of the construction workforce, which includes the building trades—hands-on jobs like carpentry, bricklaying, and electrical work—as well as management. Amanda Abrams, Curbed, "Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage," 5 Nov. 2018 Less than 10 percent of the female computing workforce in 2017 were women of color, according to NCWIT. Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Rose-Hulman professor hopes to get more girls in STEM by studying the Irish," 10 July 2018 That gap widens when applied across the French workforce, because companies tend to hire men for more senior positions in industries with higher pay scales, like finance. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France Prepares to Get Tough on Firms That Pay Women Less," 18 Nov. 2018 At a recent leadership summit, a Red Robin Burgers executive discussed how the company embedded coaching style throughout the workforce, and turned their business around, Lopuch says. The Seattle Times, "Leadership coaching for organizational success," 14 Nov. 2018 The government poured emergency funding into antibiotics research, even as the scientific workforce dwindled. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018 However, the bulk of these services continue to be provided by White, European American therapists despite efforts to diversify the mental health workforce. Vanessa Willhoughby, Allure, "The Reality of Navigating the Mental Health System as a Black Woman," 13 Oct. 2018 Companies like Facebook have developed two-tier workforces. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Ex-Facebook moderator sues Facebook over exposure to disturbing images," 26 Sep. 2018 The reform was designed to move towards a more inclusive Saudi Arabia with aims such as increasing the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 22 to 30 percent by 2030. Krysia Lenzo, Fox News, "Saudi woman makes history as country's first female evening news anchor," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'workforce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of workforce

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near workforce






work function


Statistics for workforce

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for workforce

The first known use of workforce was in 1931

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English Language Learners Definition of workforce

: the group of people who work for a particular organization or business

: the number of people in a country or area who are available for work

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Comments on workforce

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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