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.”