Discouraged Worker

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DEFINITION of 'Discouraged Worker'

A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment in the last four weeks. Discouraged workers have usually given up on searching for a job because they found no suitable employment options and/or were met with lack of success when applying.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Discouraged Worker'

Some discouraged workers, however, are voluntarily unemployed. Stay-at-home parents, for example, have chosen to not work in order to tend to their children and pursue other interests.

Since discouraged workers are no longer looking for employment, they are not counted as active in the labor force. This means that unemployment rates, which are based on labor force calculations, do not consider discouraged workers.

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