Gallup, as part of its Global Employment Tracking project, has defined new employment indices intended to "give an unprecedented picture of the state of employment worldwide." One index, the Underemployment Index, defines respondents as "underemployed" if they are (1) employed part time but want to work full time or (2) unemployed. Another new index, Employed Full Time for an Employer Index, applies to respondents who are employed by an employer (i.e., are not self-employed) and work for this employer for at least 30 hours per week. Gallup details the project in a report titled Good Jobs: The Global Standard (PDF).
As part of this project, a series of surveys conducted in 129 countries concluded that, in 2009 and 2010, 40% of the global workforce were employed full time for an employer and 19% were underemployed. Gallup concluded that its Employed Full Time for an Employer Index has a strong positive correlation with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, i.e., those countries with high full-time employment rates also had higher GDP per capita. Countries scoring high on Gallup's Underemployment Index tend to have lower GDP per capita. By contrast, when examined across countries, Gallup research has found "no relationship" between unemployment rates and GDP per capita.
Highlights of the surveys' findings by region include:
- Full-time employment rates ranged from 19% (Sub-Saharan Africa) to 59% (former Soviet Union).
- Underemployment rates ranged from 15% (former Soviet Union) to 31% (Sub-Saharan Africa).
- Unemployment rates ranged from 5% (Asia) to 10% (Middle East / North Africa and the Americas).
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