What are Human Resources?

Human resources are all of the people (personnel) of a population with skills, talents and abilities.

So when someone asks about the human resource of Trinidad & Tobago, they are referring to all the people in the nation who have a skill, talent or ability. Examples of these types of people are:

  • Doctors
  • Fashion Designer
  • Musician
  • Author
  • Sanitation Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Farmer
  • Teacher
  • Cosmetologist

What Benefits do Human Resources provide?



  • Employment - when an individual receives payment in exchange for work that is completed.
  • Self-employment - when individuals work for themselves.
  • Unemployment - having no work or employment.
  • Underemployment - when an individual works for less than the standard hours work work per day or week. This is also when an individual is overqualified or over-experienced for the work they currently perform.


Why do people work?

Work is important for individuals because it allows them to earn an income which means that they can:
  1. Satisfy their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, etc.
  2. Provide for their family members and other dependent relatives.
  3. Maintain and improve their standard of living (this involves buying more goods and services).
  4. Provide an avenue by which individuals can achieve social mobility (climbing the class ladder).
  5. Become economically and financially independent.
  6. Experience a feeling of self-respect and self-esteem.
  7. Save money for a 'rainy' day.
  8. Contribute to the development of the country.

Work is important to a society for a number of reasons Higher levels of employment mean that the human resources of a country are being better used and the productivity levels in a country increases. A prosperous nation is more likely to be stable and the general population will see an improvement in the standard of living. The ideal situation for any country is one is full-employment; this is where every member of the working population is earning an income from being employed.

Types of Work

There are three sectors of an economy: the primary sector, the secondary sector and the tertiary sector.

  1. The Primary Sector - is concerned with the extraction of raw materials or the production of natural resources. Examples of workers in this sector are farmers, miners, lumberjacks, fishermen, etc.

  2. The Secondary Sector - uses the raw materials obtained from the Primary Sector, and includes the construction, manufacturing and processing of these materials. Examples of workers in this sector are factory workers, engineers, craftsmen, mechanics, etc.

  3. The Tertiary Sector - involves the provision of services to businesses engaged in Primary and Secondary work. Examples of workers in this sector are bankers, insurance agents, air hostesses, teachers, etc.


In any society, a small number of people may be unemployable as a result of circumstances beyond their control and sometimes, as a result of their own unfortunate choices or decisions.

Reasons for Unemployment

  • Individuals may have heath problems or physical disabilities.
  • individuals may lack the educational qualifications for employment.
  • Individuals may have a criminal record or face suspicion.
  • Individuals may have an addiction or drug abuse problem.

Types of Unemployment

Type of Unemployment
Cause of Unemployment
This type of unemployment is short term and occurs when people are between jobs are waiting to secure their first position after leaving education. (For example, On-The Job Trainees).
This is when there are periods or seasons in the year that certain workers are in demand and is usually associated with a harvest. (Sorrel harvesters are no longer needed after the Christmas season has passed in Trinidad).
This is when individuals lose their employment as a result of automation, mechanization and computerization. This means that machines have reduced the need for work by humans. (ATMs have replaced bank tellers and tractors have replaces some farm workers).
This is unemployment that occurs because it takes workers some time to move from one job to another. While it may be the case that some workers find new jobs before they leave their old ones, a lot of workers leave or lose their jobs before they have other work lined up. In these cases, a worker must look around for a job that it is a good fit for her, and this process takes some time.
This occurs because the demand for some workers varies widely over the course of the year. (Carnival masquerader makers, for example, probably experience a decent amount of seasonal unemployment.)
This occurs during recessions because, when demand for goods and services in an economy falls, some companies respond by cutting production and laying off workers rather than by reducing wages and prices. When this happens, there are more workers in an economy than there are available jobs, and unemployment must result.