Open Access Articles- Top Results for Grey-collar


Grey-collar refers to the balance of employed people not classified as white- or blue collar. Although grey-collar is sometimes used to describe those who work beyond the age of retirement,[1][2] it is also used to refer to occupations that incorporate some of the elements of both blue- and white-collar, or are completely different from both categories.

Examples of grey-collar industries:

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.

Other definitions

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that another definition for grey collar could be the underemployed white collar worker.[4]

Charle Brecher of the Citizens Budget Commission and the Partnership for New York City defined it sub-blue-collar jobs: "maintenance and custodial".[5]


  1. Colebatch, Tim (2005-08-25). "Rise of Australia's grey-collar worker". The Age. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  2. Wickman, Forrest. "Working Man's Blues: Why do we call manual laborers blue collar?", 1 May 2012.
  3. "China strives to cultivate grey collar workers". People's Daily. 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  4. 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. 
  5. "Business Groups Attack New York City’s ‘Lavish’ Health Benefits". Workforce Management. 2009-12-18. 

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