unemploymen In economics, willing to work at a prevailing wage rate yet is unable to find a paying job is considered to be unemployed. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labor force, which includes both the unemployed and those with jobs (all those willing and able to work for pay). In practice, measuring the number of unemployed workers actually seeking work is notoriously difficult, particularly those whose unemployment benefits have expired before finding work. There are several different methods for measuring the number of unemployed workers, each with its own biases, making comparisons between methods difficult. The history of unemployment is the history of industrialization. It was not considered an issue in rural areas, despite the "disguised unemployment" of rural laborers having little to do, especially in conditions of overpopulation. The terms unemployment and unemployed are sometimes used to refer to other inputs to production that are not being fully used — for example, unemployed capital goods.