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

Definition of unemployment

1 : the state of being unemployed : involuntary idleness of workers also : the rate of such unemployment

Examples of unemployment in a Sentence

My unemployment lasted about six months. Unemployment has been increasing for months. The current unemployment rate is six percent.
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Recent Examples on the Web Using the program, the release said, will allow the department to process payments and release money more quickly to those filing for unemployment. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin unemployment department says adjudication of claims will be sped up thanks to new partnership with Google Cloud," 19 Oct. 2020 Some 44% of people who filed for unemployment between March and Aug. 15 hadn’t received their benefits by Aug. 31, according to the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank that does labor-market research. Justin Baer And Eric Morath, WSJ, "Inside an American Comeback: ‘I Just Have to Keep Myself Going’," 18 Oct. 2020 Jones received a letter from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in response to her appeal for unemployment. Jackie Mader, USA TODAY, "'We needed some food': Seven months into pandemic, families struggle to meet basic needs," 17 Oct. 2020 For Michigan, 2009 was the worst year for unemployment in more than 25 years. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's jobless wonder when the economic intermission will end," 16 Oct. 2020 The furloughed employees remain on the city’s health care coverage and were also able to sign up for unemployment. John Benson, cleveland, "Parma Heights Mayor provides update on employee furlough, CARES Act funding and 2021 budget," 16 Oct. 2020 The federal data released Thursday showed that 28,864 Indiana workers applied for unemployment for the first time in the week that ended Oct. 10. Binghui Huang, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana sees jump in jobless claims, but state reporting error accounts for much of it," 15 Oct. 2020 While more than a million people in Kentucky have filed for unemployment since the pandemic hit, McConnell may just continue to take vacations and chuckle it off. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Watch Mitch McConnell Laugh About Doing Nothing To Help Millions Of Suffering Americans," 13 Oct. 2020 The bank lowered its year-end forecast for U.S. unemployment to 9.5% from 10.9% in the second quarter, and expects the figure to fall to 7.3% by the end of next year. Michelle F Davis, Bloomberg.com, "JPMorgan Posts Surprise Jump in Profit on Lower Credit Costs," 13 Oct. 2020

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

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unemployment

Time Traveler

The first known use of unemployment was in 1789

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Statistics for unemployment

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unemployment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unemployment. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for unemployment


How to pronounce unemployment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unemployment

: the state of not having a job
: the total number of people who do not have jobs in a particular place or area
US : money paid by the government to someone who does not have a job


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

Kids Definition of unemployment

1 : the state of being out of work
2 : the number of people who do not have jobs

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