work·​force | \ ˈwərk-ˌfȯrs How to pronounce workforce (audio) \

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

Those of them still in the workforce—as well as Generation X and Millennials—deserve that same peace of mind. Wired, "Why American Workers Need to Be Protected From Automation," 5 Sep. 2019 The workforce, 20-plus people, remains intact for now. Jon Chesto,, "Escalating trade war hits home for many local businesses," 5 Sep. 2019 This category represents a large chunk of the local workforce, accounting for 155,800 workers. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Is your paycheck keeping up with San Diego’s inflation?," 2 Sep. 2019 That left just 4% for investments in the workforce, like raises for workers. Cory Booker, Time, "Cory Booker: A Waitress I Knew Made $2.13 an Hour. I Wish She Lived to Get a Fair Shake in This Economy," 2 Sep. 2019 According to its website, the company now has about 58,000 workers in China — that's about 20% more than its domestic UAW workforce, which has dwindled in recent years. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "GM now has more workers in China than UAW employees in the U.S.," 30 Aug. 2019 That's 486 times larger than the median pay for Citi's workforce, which stood at $49,766 in 2018. Matt Egan, CNN, "Citigroup raises minimum wage to $15 after pressure from House Democrats," 28 Aug. 2019 In another, softer version only countries with rapidly ageing workforces, such as Germany, are thus fated. The Economist, "The Japanification of bond markets," 22 Aug. 2019 Interviewees also talked about retaining talented individuals who might otherwise have been forced out of the workforce, including women and those past retirement age. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The three-stage blueprint for “crafting” a flexible career," 13 Aug. 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

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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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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