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employment status

employment status The legal status and classification of someone in employment as either an employee or working on their own account (self-employed). In practice, most classifications of employment status in official statistics expand this simple two-fold distinction into a fuller typology which identifies large employers, small employers, the self-employed without any employees, unpaid family workers contributing labour to a family farm or business, partners in a legally defined partnership, apprentices and supervisors, as well as ordinary employees.

The sociological distinction between capitalists or entrepreneurs and employees selling their wage-labour is clouded in most classifications of employment status, as employers are classified by their specific legal status, as employees of their own incorporated companies; however, some countries ignore the legal status in favour of the social reality. Practice varies because this concept is not wholly defined by the economic framework that dominates labour-market statistics.

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