Meaning | Synonyms

  • of or relating to industrial work, especially the semiskilled and unskilled
  • regarding physical work or workers, mainly in business
  • manual
  • proletarian
  • working-class
  • wage-earning
  • a working-class person who performs manual labor

The blue-collar stereotype refers to a worker involved in strict manual work, such as construction, mining, or maintenance. Blue-collar employees do labor requiring physical strength or physical expertise rather than office work.

Example Sentences

  1. They hope the new manufacturing unit on the small town’s outskirts will open up the doors for many more blue-collar jobs.
  2. The contractor must employ a lot of blue-collar workers to complete the project on time.
  3. Manufacturing, retail, and logistics employ the most significant number of blue-collar workers in the United States.
  4. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the most affected community was those who were in blue-collar jobs.
  5. President’s infrastructure plan could be a significant improvement for blue-collar America.
  6. The blue-collar staff management in this company is uneven and highly chaotic.
  7. Speedy industrialisation facilitated provide income and social flexibility to millions of blue-collar workers.


The expression originates around the early 1900s when blue-collar employees—such as those in construction and mining—wore duskier colour clothes (for example, jeans, overalls, and so on.) to hide dust. Nowadays, the term “blue-collar” has changed, and it’s common to find workers in this title role who are officially sophisticated, trained, and exceedingly salaried.

The term “blue-collar” was first used about trade jobs in 1924 in an Alden, Iowa newspaper. It reads:

“If we may call professions and office positions white collar jobs, we may call the trades blue collar jobs.”

The phrase stems from manual workers’ image of wearing blue denim or chambray shirts as part of their dresses. Industrial and manual employees often wear sturdy canvas or cotton clothing that may be soiled during their work. Navy and light blue colours hide potential dust, mud, or oil on workers’ dresses, helping them look cleaner. For the same motive, blue is a standard colour for boilersuits which protect workers’ clothing. Some blue-collar workers have uniforms with the name of the business and the individual’s name embroidered or printed.

Historically, the popularity of the colour blue among manual labourers contrasts with the popularity of white dress shirts worn by people in office environments. The blue-collar/white-collar colour scheme has socio-economic class connotations. However, this distinction has become blurred with the increasing importance of skilled labour, and the relative increase in low-paying white-collar jobs.


  • white-collar

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