Definition of unemployment

The condition, among those who are able and allowed to work, of being involuntarily without a job. In economic terms, this is normally expressed as the proportion (the unemployment rate) of the total labour force that is looking for work.


In the US, monthly non-farm payroll figures - the total number of people employed in non-agricultural enterprises - are a closely watched indicator of unemployment, as are the weekly jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits).