Why do people work?

People usually work to get the things that they need to live. The most basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter. In some places, people grow their own food, make their own clothes, and build their own shelters, living much as their ancestors have for thousands of years. In other places people earn money to buy those things. Work in industrialized, or developed, nations frequently takes place in office buildings or factories, while some people still make their livings as farmers. The economies of such countries are based on advanced technologies and large-scale manufacturing, which create products and services that earn workers more money than people can make in the less industrial, or developing, countries of the world, where farming is the main industry (and most farmers can barely grow enough food for their own families). People who live in industrialized nations—like the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and many countries in Europe—are able to buy far more than the basic things they need to live. They are able to make their lives easier and safer by paying for clean water, electricity, good medical care, reliable transportation, and much more. Those who live in developing countries, located mainly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, still struggle to acquire the most basic necessities. It may be hard to believe, but half of the world’s people do not have enough of the right foods to be healthy.


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