Unemployment refers to not having a job. The more people have work, the less unemployment there is.

When you're employed by someone, you work for them: employment is a job. Therefore, unemployment is the lack of a job. Economists often talk about how much unemployment there is and whether the unemployment rate is increasing or decreasing. If it's up, that's bad for the economy, because more people are out of work. Sometimes, the government provides unemployment benefits for people who have recently lost their jobs.

Definitions of unemployment
  1. noun
    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”
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    employ, employment
    the state of being employed or having a job
    type of:
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  2. noun
    payment by a United States agency to unemployed people
    synonyms: unemployment compensation
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    type of:
    social insurance
    government provision for unemployed, injured, or aged people; financed by contributions from employers and employees as well as by government revenue
Word Family

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