un·​em·​ployed | \ ˌən-im-ˈplȯid How to pronounce unemployed (audio) \

Definition of unemployed

: not employed:
a : not being used
b : not engaged in a gainful occupation
c : not invested

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Other Words from unemployed

unemployed noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unemployed




employed, working

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Examples of unemployed in a Sentence

the plant closings left a significant portion of the town's population unemployed

Recent Examples on the Web

Kaepernick, of course, remains unemployed despite being a young, gifted quarterback in a sport desperate for them. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "It was easy being a sports fan, once. Post-Kaepernick, it can demand a moral reckoning," 1 June 2018 Both of them remain unemployed and have filed collusion grievances against the NFL, alleging teams won't hire them based on their protests. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "NFL players, teams offer varying reactions to new national anthem policy," 23 May 2018 People in their late 40s and up who lost their jobs remained unemployed longer. Sarah Gantz, Philly.com, "Mounting health costs a financial vise for boomers nearing retirement," 18 May 2018 Scott’s racial consciousness continued to grow during a months-long job search in the spring and early summer of 1967 when, despite an uptick in the city’s economy, 25 to 30 percent of black youths between 18 and 24 remained unemployed. Detroit Free Press, "He helped start 1967 Detroit riot, now his son struggles with the legacy," 15 May 2018 Most of next year’s savings will come from delaying the start of the government’s two flagship policies: introducing a basic income for the poor and unemployed, and reducing the pension age from around 67 to as low as 62. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Italy’s Growth Woes Set to Persist Despite EU Budget Blessing," 19 Dec. 2018 Much of the concern about Italy’s new government stems from its promise of a powerful injection of spending, including new subsidies for the poor and unemployed. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "As Italy’s populists take power, Europe is on edge," 1 June 2018 Data shows that in Britain and the U.S., poor, unemployed, disabled and migrant populations tend to suffer most from loneliness and isolation—and typically struggle to access adequate support. Tara John / London, Time, "How the World's First Loneliness Minister Will Tackle 'the Sad Reality of Modern Life'," 25 Apr. 2018 The number of job openings per unemployed person in the country came to 1.17. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Time for American Workers to Ask for a Raise," 12 Feb. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unemployed

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

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

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More Definitions for unemployed



English Language Learners Definition of unemployed

: having no job : not employed


un·​em·​ployed | \ ˌən-im-ˈplȯid How to pronounce unemployed (audio) \

Kids Definition of unemployed

: having no job : not employed unemployed workers

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Comments on unemployed

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


having no equal

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