[uhn-em-ploi-muh nt]


the state of being unemployed, especially involuntarily: Automation poses a threat of unemployment for many unskilled workers.
the number of persons who are unemployed.

Origin of unemployment

First recorded in 1885–90; un-1 + employment
Related formsan·ti·un·em·ploy·ment, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unemployment

Contemporary Examples of unemployment

Historical Examples of unemployment

  • The best results were obtained in the sphere of unemployment.

    The World in Chains

    John Mavrogordato

  • The most radical provision of the new bill is that which deals with unemployment.

    Socialism As It Is

    William English Walling

  • We hear of the prevention of unemployment, the removal of the bugbear of "losing the job."

  • The special and solid result of the reign of the employers has been—unemployment.

    A Miscellany of Men

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The unemployment problem will be dealt with by the State, and dealt with so that there will be no unemployment problem.


    William J. Robinson

British Dictionary definitions for unemployment



the condition of being unemployed
the number of unemployed workers, often as a percentage of the total labour force
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for unemployment

1888, from un- (1) "not" + employment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper