Only 1.3 billion employed full-time globally, outlook grim

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Only 1.3 billion employed full-time globally, outlook grim


A recent poll has revealed that only one in four adults worldwide has a full-time job, and there is growing pessimism among those looking for work.

Only 1.3 billion adults worldwide, about 26 percent, worked full-time in 2013, according to a new Gallup poll. This sobering number comes after the organization revealed Monday that the majority of people in the job market feel this is a bad time to be looking.

According to the numbers, many people do not feel the Great Recession, which started in 2008, is yet over. But there are some promising signs – jobs have grown in many regions and numbers have held virtually steady since 2013.

North America led the way with a mere 43 percent of all adults 15 or older employed more than 30 hours a week, Gallup found. This grew one percent from 2012 – an improvement, but not quite as big as the dropping unemployment rate would indicate.

The former Soviet Union saw a four point rise to 42 percent from 2012 to 2013. A surprising result on the back of solid gains in both Russia and Belarus, according to the pollster.

The ranks of the employed then dropped off a cliff.

Only 35 percent of European Union citizens held down full-time jobs last year, but those grim numbers represent a two point gain on 2013.

Those in Latin America and the Caribbean were employed at only a rate of 28 percent, a three point drop.

A staggering 19 percent of those in the Middle East and Africa were fully employed, but were nearly twice as fortunate as their Sub-Saharan Africa counterparts. One in 10 adults, 11 percent, in the world's most impoverished region have full-time jobs.

Numbers in both regions barely changed year-on-year, and more closely mirrored global results that improved only a hair.

Stabilizing and sometimes even improving numbers still haven't changed the sentiment of those looking for work.

Globally, 55 percent of adults feel now is a bad time to find work, but this is heavily skewed by an overwhelming 76 percent of Europeans seeing little hope in the jobs market.

Nearly all of Greece (96 percent), Italy (95 percent) and Spain (93 percent) are down on their prospects, Gallup found.

Among the regions polled, North America was the most optimistic (41 percent) about finding work, and Europe was the least.

Even the vastly underemployed regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (36 percent) and the Middle East and North Africa (24 percent) felt better about their chances of landing a lucrative career.

Years of economic decline and austerity in Greece, Italy and Spain are likely to blame for the lack of hope, but 2014 is showing signs of economic growth around the world.

The Great Recession is not quite over, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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