out of work/unemployed;out of school/have finished school


New Member
Hello there,

Could you please tell me if there is any difference between "out of work" and "unemployed" and also "out of school" and "have finished school"
For example,
"Unfortunerly, I'm out of work now"/"Unfortunetly, I'm unemployed now"
"I'm just out of school"/"I've just finished school"
Do these sentences mean the same thing?

Thanks in advance
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In BE, "out of work" generally means unemployed.

    But "out of school" and "just finished school" would normally suggest that the pupil had finished school for the day and was going home. So no, it doesn't mean the same as "out of work", if that's what you were asking.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum, by the way. :)


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here's where I think we run into one of those cultural differences over the use of the word school.

    Those sets of school sentences can have two completely different meanings in the U.S.

    Scenario 1

    I'm a child less than 18(ish) and I've just finished school for the day.

    "I'm just out of school":thumbsdown:
    "I've just finished school":thumbsup:

    I don't think we would say the first one but it's not impossible.

    Scenario 2

    Using school as a synonym for college/university. A recent graduate (22 years old) is speaking and discussing future life plans with someone who doesn't know them well.

    "I'm just out of school":thumbsup:
    "I've just finished school":thumbsup:

    I've very recently graduated from college.

    Both sentences would mean the same thing and I can imagine both being used in the right context.

    School in this sense would be used in informal and semi-informal situations.

    The out of work and unemployed sentences have the same meaning as each other to me, too.
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