The unemployment or underemployment of workers that is not reflected in official unemployment statistics because of the way they are compiled. Only those who have no work but are actively looking for work are counted as unemployed. Those who have given up looking, those who are working less than they would like, and those who work at jobs in which their skills are underutilized are not officially counted among the unemployed, though in a sense they are. These groups constitute hidden unemployment.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.