un·​der·​em·​ployed | \ˌən-dər-im-ˈplȯid \

Definition of underemployed 

: having less than full-time, regular, or adequate employment

Examples of underemployed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Despite the existence of career centers, though, a notable number of college students still wind up unemployed (almost 6 percent in 2016) or underemployed (almost 13 percent in 2016) upon graduating. Lolade Fadulu, The Atlantic, "Why Aren't College Students Using Career Services?," 20 Jan. 2018 The tapping of workers in typically underemployed groups may also help explain why wage growth proved to be slower than expected in April, with the average hourly wages rising just 0.1% during the month. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Unemployment Is Its Lowest in 17 Years. Here's Why That's Great for the Disabled and Ex-Cons," 4 May 2018 Even 10 years later, the job outlook doesn’t improve: Seventy-four percent remain underemployed. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "How the Great Recession changed the job market forever for college grads," 1 June 2018 Walgreens in January announced an employment initiative targeting unemployed and underemployed youth that includes helping pay tuition for an associate’s degree at Harold Washington College, one of the seven colleges in the City Colleges system. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "City Colleges sets goal to put thousands of graduates into apprenticeships, internships," 21 June 2018 The 12-week program, which helps unemployed and underemployed adults transition into food service careers, is just one of the many job-training options available to Fatherhood Project participants. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "'Helping me do better for my daughters': State pilot program offers education, job training for young fathers," 15 June 2018 More worrisome were the new grads in his study who were involuntarily underemployed. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Why settling for a subpar job right out of college can hurt your career for years," 13 June 2018 Two-thirds of graduates who are underemployed at commencement find themselves in the same situation five years later. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "How the Great Recession changed the job market forever for college grads," 1 June 2018 The hope of good jobs as salvation is today as promising – and as elusive – as in 1968, when the post-assassination Kerner Report found institutional disparities at work in keeping African-Americans poor, underemployed, and disillusioned. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fifty years after King, Atlantans see a dream still deferred," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underemployed.' 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 underemployed

1908, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for underemployed

The first known use of underemployed was in 1908

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English Language Learners Definition of underemployed

: having a job that does not use your skills

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obstinately defiant of authority

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