1. the state of being unemployed or not having a job; - Example: "unemployment is a serious social evil" - Example: "the rate of unemployment is an indicator of the health of an economy"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Unemployment \Un`em*ploy"ment\, n.
Quality or state of being not employed; -- used esp. in
economics, of the condition of various social classes when
temporarily thrown out of employment, as those engaged for
short periods, those whose trade is decaying, and those least
Note: Unemployment is usually cointed as the condition of
those who wish to work, but cannot find a suitable job,
rather than others who may voluntarily refrain from
working, such as retired persons, youth, or those
remaining at home to care for young children. The
unemployment rate in economics is thus the proportion of
those actively seeking work but unable to find it, to the
total labor force, expressed as a percentage.
[Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the state of being unemployed or not having a job;
"unemployment is a serious social evil"; "the rate of
unemployment is an indicator of the health of an economy"
[ant: employ, employment]