Myth Of Unskilled Labor meme examples.

The Myth of Unskilled Labor

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Updated Jan 13, 2023 at 04:29PM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 13, 2023 at 11:37AM EST by sakshi.

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The Myth of Unskilled Labor, also spelled The Myth of Unskilled Labour, is a catchphrase and axiom used to ascribe value to jobs that are deemed to be "unskilled" or "unspecialized." This includes minimum-wage jobs like baristas, cashiers and fast-food or warehouse work. The phrase "unskilled labor" came under scrutiny with the rise of the term essential worker over the COVID-19 pandemic, with various commentators on the internet discussing how "unskilled labor" is a pejorative and incorrect term used to describe work that does require skill despite being severely undervalued. In 2023, people began posting parody videos of what shouldn't be considered "unskilled labor," like hitting a dab rig or chugging beer, among other humorous clips of people doing bizarre things.


"Low-skilled" or "unskilled labor" is a term used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to categorize work that requires little or no experience or training to do or consists of routine tasks. These positions do not require the workers to have obtained any post-secondary degree or credential.[1]

A 2004 SFGate article used an illustration by Bill Russell depicting Albert Einstein as a waiter[2] (seen below, left). The article is also the earliest known use of the phrase "the myth of unskilled labor." in 2016, Redditor /u/unicornassaurus posted an "unskilled labourer starterpack" to /r/starterpacks,[3] gathering over 200 upvotes in six years.

Juday fa vars binub tagslo Dinall N Allie 0410 (El ISTO Unskilled Labourer Starter Pack KCCO Octane 法例 邢

On December 23rd, 2018, @harrisburg_dsa posted a screenshot[4] of a now-deleted tweet by @AndriErlingsson that read, "While we're on it, there is no such thing as 'unskilled labor.' The concept does not exist. You cannot take a boardroom CEO and dump them at a dock and call them a longshoreman and expect them to perform flawlessly. It is a fake idea designed to suppress your wages." The original tweet received an unknown number of likes and was reposted to Reddit on May 6th, 2020, receiving over 23,000 upvotes in two years (seen below).

SelesnyAndri @AndriErlingsson While we're on it, there is no such thing as "unskilled labor." The concept does not exist. You cannot take a boardroom CEO and dump them at a dock and call them a longshoreman and expect them to perform flawlessly. It is a fake idea designed to depress your wages 3:34 AM 12/23/18 .


Unskilled Labor vs. Essential Worker

In 2020, discussions about "unskilled labor" were brought to the fore due to labor shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers previously considered "unskilled" were now categorized as "essential workers," leading to debates about the low wages and low valuation of "unskilled" work in American society. On March 22nd, 2020, Twitter[5] user @WorkingPod posted a tweet that read, "Boy, all that 'unskilled labor' became 'essential' real fast," gathering over 200,000 likes in nearly two years (seen below, left).

WORKING PEOPLE! Working People Podcast @WorkingPod Boy, all that "unskilled labor" became "essential" real fast 2:41 PM - Mar 22, 2020 54.2K Retweets 823 Quote Tweets 207K Likes :

In 2020, various videos featuring so-called "unskilled labourers" performing difficult jobs went viral,[6][7][8] with one such tweet posted by @ANeonGreenCity[8] quote tweeting @UFWupdates gathering over 8,000 likes in two years (seen below).

The Myth Of Unskilled Labor

In 2023, there was an increase in jokes and memes about what counts as "skilled" and "unskilled" labor, with Twitter[9] user @drofnavmod posting a tweet on January 11th, 2023, that read, "The ruling class would tell you this is 'unskilled labor,'" gathering over 48,000 likes in two days (seen below).

On July 12th, 2023, Twitter[10] user @punished_stu posted a tweet that read, "there is no such thing as unskilled labour," alongside a video of a man drinking beer, gathering over 15,000 likes in a day (seen below).

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External References

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics – Skill Levels of Part-Time Jobs

[2] SF Gate – Myth of Unskilled Labor

[3] Reddit – /r/starterpacks

[4]  Twitter – harrisburg_dsa

[5] Twitter – WorkingPod

[6] Twitter – ANeonGreenCity

[7] Twitter – RichardERoeper

[8] Twitter – proustmalone

[9] Twitter – drofnavmod

[10] Twitter – punished_stu

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