Some examples of unskilled labor include sanitation, workers, custodial workers, farm workers, painters, grocery clerks and assembly line factory workers. Unskilled labor jobs require little or no special training and make use of limited skills. Many menial or repetitive tasks fall under the classification of unskilled labor. Jobs that can be learned completely in 30 days or fewer are often classified as unskilled labor.
Unskilled laborers have always earned less money than skilled laborers, but throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the wage gap between the two groups began to increase. Historically, unskilled laborers had ample work opportunities, from farms to factories. Currently, however, unskilled labor jobs are diminishing, mostly due to changes in technology. Manual jobs that were once considered unskilled now often make use of computers or other technology, which requires some technological skill on the part of workers. Mechanics, for example, used to be considered unskilled labor, but they now require a great deal of skill and training to work on modern automobiles. Changes in technology have increased the amount of semi- or mid-skill labor jobs. These jobs require some amount of skill and training, meaning they cannot be performed by unskilled laborers, but the positions are not highly specialized. Some examples of mid-skill jobs include typists and truck drivers. These jobs typically require more than a high school diploma but less than a college degree.