Difference Between Labor and Labour


Main Difference

The main difference between labor and labour is that labor is the spelling in American English, and labour is preferred throughout the English speaking world.

Labor vs. Labour

The term labor and labour are often confusing because of their close spelling and the same pronunciation. They also are interchangeable without changing the intimation of the sentence. But the words are different from each other as labor is the spelling in American English, and labour is preferred throughout the English speaking world.

Although there is no difference between the meaning of both the words. The word labor and labour are a verb as well as a noun. There is a direct demand for labor, and the demand for labour is indirect. Americans prefer the spelling “Labor.” They prefer the spelling “labour.” Labor or labour is the act of performing work. This word with different regional spelling is referring to anyone who performs the work.
The meaning of both words is almost similar or the same. Labor and labour both contribute to the economy by fulfilling their duty by putting hard work in it. The word labor/labour originates from Middle English, from an Old French word “labour” (noun), labourer (verb). Both of these words derive from Latin labor meaning ‘toil or trouble.’


The meaning of labor and labour is also perceived differently. Labor or labour the income which is generated for the labours. The labour gets that income after performing their duty. Labor is any physical or mental service which is rendered by the labours. Labor and labour are the essentials. There is no labor without labour. And there is no economy without labor.

Labor is a wage or monthly income or salary that is given as a reward of hard work. Labour is something humans always have to produce goods and services upon which our life depends. Both words have distinct regional pronunciation. Word labor is pronounced as “ley-ber.” Word labour is pronounced as “lei-bə.”


Labor is the monthly or weakly salary of a worker. Labour is a measure of work done by humans. Labor is also known as “a process by which the placenta and fetus leave the uterus. Labour also refers to the job market function through the interaction of employers and workers. Labor is now the American spellings. Labour is now the Australian spellings.

Both labor and labour have the same meaning, but their spellings are different due to the alphabet “u” modern English use “u” in labor spelling, i.e., Single.

Comparison Chart

Labor means to do work or effortLabour means a group of people to do work
Refers To
Hard-working, stamina, power efforts and skillsEmployees
Used In
American EnglishBritish English
Also Known As
Wage or monthly income is given to workersPain during the birth of the child

What is Labor?

The word “labor” is the amount of some social, mental, or physical efforts which are used to produce goods and services in the economy. It is the aggregate of all the human efforts to give products in response. Labor is just a primary factor of production. It is estimated by the size of a nation’s labor to its adult population.

Labor is also estimated by the extent of adults either they are working or preparing their labor for salary. “Labor” is meant to supply the services, workforce, and expertise, which a company or organization needed to convert raw material into useful finished products.

However, in return laborers receive their salaries to meet their needs and to buy services, goods or products that they don’t produce themselves. Those labors without any desired abilities, experience or skills don’t get paid a living wage. Many countries give a minimum salary to their labor that isn’t enough to cover the cost of living.

Labors are classified into different categories. The first category is skilled labor, and the second category is unskilled labor, which doesn’t need any training to start their work. Labor is also categorized based on the relationship with the employer. Such labors are wage employees mean a boss supervises them and also awarded with benefits and weekly or bi-weekly salary.

Contract labor is also another type of labor. It is up to the worker how many days they take to finish their work. The specific amount is paid to the workers. Semi-skilled labors required some education to get a desirable job.

What is Labour?

According to Professor Marshall Word, “Labour” means any effort of body or mind undertaken totally or partly to earn some money. S.E. Thomas said that “Labor connotes all human body or mental efforts which are done in the expectation of any reward that is said to be wage or salary.” According to Waugh, “Labour is all human efforts that are used in production.”

In other words, labour means that the work done is by the manual worker. Mostly the hard work done by unskilled workers refers to the labour. The term labor in economics means manual labour. It also includes mental work. Labour includes both the physical and the mental work in return for some monetary reward, which can be on a daily weekly or monthly basis.

Mostly the monetary reward for labours is in the form of daily wages. Sometimes, the educated and well off people are also labour as they are dedicating their skills and services to an organization or institution, e.g. doctors’ services in hospitals, advocates, officers, teachers, and workers working in factories.

Any physical and mental work which is done by the people not to get a salary or any reward but to help others to attain pleasure or happiness; they are not helping us as labour.

Furthermore, if a mother brings up her baby, the doctor treats his wife and teachers to teach her child these all activities are done by him/her are not considered as labour in economics. It is because of these all works are done by them to earn money. Just like it if a gardener works in the college garden here he is labour and gets a wage to do this. But if the same work is done by him in his house garden here he is not working as a labour and not paid for that work.

Key Differences

  1. Labor is about performing work, whereas labour is the one who performs the work.
  2. Labor is the preferred spelling in American English. On the contrary, labour is preferred throughout the English speaking world.
  3. Word labor is used as an American spelling on the flip side term labour is used as worldwide spelling.
  4. Labor has different spelling and pronunciation on the other side; labour has different spelling and pronunciation.


It is concluded that word labor is used in American English, and word labour is used at an international level English or British English.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson