Definition of workforce noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈwɜːkfɔːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɜːrkfɔːrs//
    [countable + singular or plural verb] Pay and conditions at work, Manufacturing
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  1. 1all the people who work for a particular company, organization, etc. synonym staff The factory has a 1 000-strong workforce. Two thirds of the workforce is/are women. Wordfinderassembly line, capacity, factory, foreman, plant, process, production, shift, shop floor, workforce CollocationsUnemploymentLosing your job lose your job (British English) become/​be made redundant be offered/​take voluntary redundancy/​early retirement face/​be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancy dismiss/​fire/ (especially British English) sack an employee/​a worker/​a manager lay off staff/​workers/​employees (Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English) retrench workers cut/​reduce/​downsize/​slash the workforce (British English) make staff/​workers/​employees redundantBeing unemployed be unemployed/​out of work/​out of a job seek/​look for work/​employment be on/​collect/​draw/​get/​receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/​jobseeker’s allowance be/​go/​live/​sign (British English, informal) on the dole claim/​draw/​get (British English, informal) the dole be on/​qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation) be/​go/​live/​depend (North American English) on welfare collect/​receive (North American English) welfare combat/​tackle/​cut/​reduce unemployment See related entries: Pay and conditions at work, Manufacturing
  2. 2all the people in a country or an area who are available for work A quarter of the local workforce is/are unemployed. an educated workforce
  3. Wordfinderapply, appoint, contract, dismiss, employ, job, pay, retire, work, workforceExtra examples A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed. Companies are under pressure to hire a more diverse workforce. One person in the workforce is always responsible for the same job. The company employs a workforce of nearly 5 000. The increase in the number of people entering the workforce has increased unemployment figures. The management always consults with the workforce before introducing major changes. The new management decided to retrain the entire workforce. The shipyard has a total workforce of 9 000. The workforce numbers 500. There is a change in the distribution of skills among the workforce. a highly skilled workforce The factory will have to lose half of its 1 000-strong workforce. Two thirds of the workforce are women.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: workforce