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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Unhelpful demographic trends exert additional pressure, with a small generation born during Russia’s turbulent 1990s now entering the workforce and having to help pay for a large post-war generation reaching retirement age. The Economist, "Russia will raise pension ages that date back to Stalin," 30 June 2018 In 1960, oral contraceptives were introduced, paving the way for droves of women to enter the workforce. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "The IUD Vs. The World," 28 June 2018 Consolidating programs and offices could lead to a smaller workforce. Anchorage Daily News, "White House to propose merging Labor and Education into one agency," 21 June 2018 Consolidating programs and offices could lead to a smaller workforce., "White House to propose merging Labor and Education into one agency," 21 June 2018 Lawmakers credited department efforts to better prepare prisoners for a return to the state workforce. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan to close another prison. Still to be determined? Which one.," 5 June 2018 The company meanwhile is nearing bankruptcy and down to a workforce of two dozen or less. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Check out this surreal chat with Theranos investor who says he’s “thrilled”," 12 May 2018 These parents often decide to return to the workforce when their children are older or start middle school. Kat Hnatyshyn, kansascity, "Know when it’s time to ask for help | The Kansas City Star," 7 May 2018 Data has also shown that disabled workers are returning to the workforce, according to the New York Times. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Unemployment Is Its Lowest in 17 Years. Here's Why That's Great for the Disabled and Ex-Cons," 4 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of workforce

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about workforce

Dictionary Entries near workforce






work function


Statistics for workforce

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workforce

The first known use of workforce was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for workforce



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on workforce

What made you want to look up workforce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!