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There’s currently four hundred and twenty-three post-employed people living inside it, eighty-six of them children.

Does it mean unemployed or fired or something else?

Fuller text:

‘We’re protesting the proposal to clear the Oxford Building. There’s currently four hundred and twenty-three post-employed people living inside it, eighty-six of them children. Neither Lexdell nor the city have offered any reasonable plan regarding their relocation.’

This is taken from Klara and the Sun a science fiction novel by Kazuo Ishiguro which can be found on google books)

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    You need to provide sources for your quotes. The fact that this is from a novel set in the future changes the interpretation.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 10:14

3 Answers 3

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Klara and the Sun is a novel set in the future. There are terms for things that don't exist in the present. One such term is "post-employed"

In the context of the novel, it means "people whose jobs have been taken by androids", and who band together in communities with extreme tendencies.

In normal English it doesn't have a regular meaning, except that which you can guess from "post-" = after. The implication seems to be that these people are not just unemployed, and looking for a job. They can never work again, and in the case of the the children, they will never be able to earn money (nor go to school or own property etc). But you'll need to read the rest of the book to understand the full context.

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  • Apparently you read the book. In some place the author says that "... who for reasons economic or otherwise never received the benefits of AGE." It seems when he says "AGE" he means "age" in its usual meaning, but may be he used it as an abbreviation. Could you please explain it to me?
    – Peace
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 8:12
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    only the google preview. From the reviews I'd guess "artificial genetic engineering"
    – James K
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 9:04
  • James K@ many thanks!
    – Peace
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 10:05
  • James K@ And In some place the author says: "‘Goodwins. Your law department. This whole…world of work." Could you tell me please the meanings of "Goodwins"? Or it is simply a name?
    – Peace
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 13:59
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    It's a name. What that name means in the context of the novel, I don't know. It sounds like the name of a shop, perhaps.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 16:14
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This means that they work part-time together.

Part-time employment is the performance by an employee of other regular paid work on the terms of a concluded labor contract during his free time from the main job.

Or

A "posted worker" is an employee who is sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis, in the context of a contract of services, an intra-group posting or a hiring out through a temporary agency.

In any case, we are talking about the fact that people live there who work together.

I hope I was able to answer your question, if you want to learn more about this topic, you can familiarize yourself with these materials:

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  • Is that really relevant to a novel set in an unspecified future?
    – mdewey
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 12:15
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post- is a common prefix meaning after.

post-employed people are the people who are "employed" after they have officially left their position. It means they have a short-term contract with their former employer which gives them some benefits (like life insurance, medical care, pensions) and imposes some obligations (like confidentiality, return of property).

Check out "post-employment".

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