Work of little value assigned or taken on only to keep someone from being idle.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "make-work" in a sentence
"The added revenue can be invested in new schools or health-care clinics in areas where education and medicine are scarce; it can subsidize short-term make-work projects to appease the angry unemployed or patronage networks that control dissent at the local level; it can finance the construction of better roads and bridges to open internal trade; it can bankroll the imposition of martial law."
"The unemployed need jobs, real ones, not government make-work."
"In the following decade, I hammered federal training and make-work programs in articles for this newspaper and other publications."