Touch Labor

Reading about how military spending isn’t particularly good for the economy found this sentence: “Most weapons projects require relatively little touch labor.”  That’s a nice category: “touch labor.”

Touch labor isn’t a widely used term.  In accounting, I gather, labor is sometimes partitioned into direct and indirect.  Managers and janitors are indirect and assembly line workers are direct.

It’s a bad thing? “Deploying and managing IT requires a huge amount of touch labor.”  Or, maybe it’s a good thing?  “Limiting meetings increases the time spent on direct labor.”

As usual I love list of categories: “skilled labor,” “guard labor,” “undocumented labor,” …

Reminds me of the current fad for “makers.”

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