un·​der·​em·​ploy·​ment | \ ˌən-dər-im-ˈplȯi-mənt How to pronounce underemployment (audio) \

Definition of underemployment

1 : the condition in which people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs
2 : the condition of being underemployed

Examples of underemployment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The agency said that in order to fully capture the unprecedented labor market situation, its upcoming quarterly labor survey to be published July 9 would have additional information about underemployment and job market dropouts. Washington Post, "Europe contains jobless rate, but faces summer of discontent," 2 July 2020 And while the financial impact of unemployment or underemployment is a top concern, psychologists and social scientists have long understood that jobs are more than a paycheck. New York Times, "The Stresses of the Way We Work Now," 14 May 2020 The Labor Department publishes several broader measures of unemployment and underemployment that address some of these issues by including people who aren’t looking for work or whose hours have been cut back. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "The Jobs Numbers Will Be Terrible. Here’s How to Interpret Them.," 6 May 2020 Experts say the unemployment and underemployment rate for autistic people in the United States falls anywhere between 50% and 90%. Jamie Wax And David Mcalpine, CBS News, ""We have a clear opportunity here": IT company sees benefits of having a majority-autistic workforce," 29 Apr. 2020 Still, the broadest measure of underemployment, which also includes part-time workers who would like full-time work, has been unchanged since February. WSJ, "Employers Add 263,000 Jobs in April, More Than Expected," 3 May 2019 South Africa was already in a recession, suffering from chronic unemployment that affects about a third of the working population, as well as widespread underemployment in an economy that is at least 50 percent informal, or off the books. BostonGlobe.com, "South Africa enters lockdown as known COVID-19 cases surpass 1,000," 27 Mar. 2020 Bridging even a part of this gap, and thus reducing the underemployment of workforces in the rich world, could expand the productive output of Western technology far more than greater receptiveness to surveillance in China does. Jaron Lanier, Wired, "AI is an Ideology, Not a Technology," 15 Mar. 2020 In December 2000, the underemployment rate was at 6.9%. WSJ, "March Jobs Report: Everything You Need to Know," 6 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of underemployment

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underemployment

Time Traveler for underemployment

Time Traveler

The first known use of underemployment was in 1909

See more words from the same year

Statistics for underemployment

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underemployment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underemployment. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on underemployment

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about underemployment

Comments on underemployment

What made you want to look up underemployment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!