em·​ploy·​ment | \ im-ˈplȯi-mənt How to pronounce employment (audio) \

Definition of employment

1 : use, purpose
2a : activity in which one engages or is employed seeking gainful employment
b : an instance of such activity
c : the extent or degree to which a labor force is employed Employment is high.
3 : the act of employing : the state of being employed employment of a pen in sketching

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Choose the Right Synonym for employment

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not. her work as a hospital volunteer employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer. your employment with this firm is hereby terminated occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training. his occupation as a trained auto mechanic calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. the ministry seemed my true calling pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest. her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted. acting was my one and only métier business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs. the business of managing a hotel

Examples of employment in a Sentence

laws that have encouraged the employment of women I've been looking for employment in the machine trade. The new factory should provide employment for hundreds of workers. unskilled workers trying to find paid employment She hopes to find employment as a teacher. The magazine did well during the course of her employment as editor. Employment is at an all-time high in this part of the state. The city is faced with inadequate housing and a lack of employment.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Which majors offer the most opportunities for post-grad employment? Michael Boyce, Cincinnati.com, "These 5 questions may help you choose your college major," 1 July 2019 Students this year earned their OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 10 certification to become safety certified for future employment, Martineau noted. Ramona Sentinel, "Industrial Arts Reserve Champion ribbon goes to Benton Welch," 28 June 2019 That is especially true because economic data haven’t shown a recession on the horizon: The Labor Department’s latest employment report showed that the U.S. jobless rate hovered at a half-century low, though the pace of hiring slowed. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Markets Send Mixed Signals on Trade Battle," 16 June 2019 Mr Modi has made a first chink in this system by allowing for contract employment of a limited number of specialists. The Economist, "What will Narendra Modi do in his new term as India’s prime minister?," 14 June 2019 Inflation was already running below the Fed’s goal, and an employment report released last week showed a sharp slowdown in hiring, further stoking those expectations. Jeanna Smialek, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump renews attacks on Fed, putting central bank in a bind," 10 June 2019 Inflation was already running below the Fed’s goal, and an employment report released last week showed a sharp slowdown in hiring, further stoking those expectations. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Trump Renews Attacks on Fed, Putting Central Bank in a Bind," 10 June 2019 As the world's largest economy nears its longest-ever expansion in July, the employment report may amplify rhetoric that Fed rate cuts are needed to support growth. oregonlive.com, "Job and wage growth slows as trade war weighs on economy," 7 June 2019 The May employment report was highly anticipated because of recent speculation that the Fed could cut its benchmark rate for the first time in a decade as soon as this month, especially if the economy softens. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Economy added just 75,000 jobs in May, strengthening case for Fed interest rate cut," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'employment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of employment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for employment

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for employment

The first known use of employment was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for employment



English Language Learners Definition of employment

: the act of using something
: the act of paying someone to do a job
: work that a person is paid to do


em·​ploy·​ment | \ im-ˈplȯi-mənt How to pronounce employment (audio) \

Kids Definition of employment

1 : the act of using something The artist is known for her employment of unusual materials.
2 : job sense 1, occupation I am seeking employment in your area.
3 : the act of hiring a person to do work



Legal Definition of employment

1 : an activity or service performed for another especially for compensation or as an occupation
2 : the act of employing : the state of being employed

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Comments on employment

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