Political Economy

Economic Problems

Summary Economic Problems

Underemployment

Underemployment, a condition related to unemployment, occurs when a person does not work full time or does not use all of his or her skills (as when a person with a PhD in biology waits tables in a restaurant). The underemployment rate sometimes indicates more about the state of the economy than unemployment because many people want full-time work but cannot find it and thus might take whatever part-time jobs they can. Some analysts see underemployment as being better than unemployment because the underemployed are not as prone to poverty as the unemployed. In reality, underemployed people usually do not qualify for unemployment benefits, so the underemployed may be worse off than those without jobs.

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