The working class (also labouring class and proletariat) are the people employed for wages, especially in manual-labour occupations and in skilled, industrial work. Working-class occupations include blue-collar jobs, some white-collar jobs, and most service-work jobs. The working class only rely upon their earnings from wage labour, thereby, the category includes most of the working population of industrializedeconomies, of the urban areas (cities, towns, villages) of non-industrialized economies, and of the rural workforce.
In Marxist theory and in socialist literature, the term working class usually is synonymous and interchangeable with the term proletariat, and includes all workers who expend either physical labour or mental labour (salaried knowledge workers and white-collar workers) to produce economic value for the owners of the means of production, the bourgeoisie. Since working-class wages can be very low, and because the state of unemployment is defined as a lack of independent means of generating an income and a lack wage-labour employment, the term working class also includes the lumpenproletariat, unemployed people who are extremely poor.