In the Chairman’s Blog on Gallup’s site today, we learn that, globally, 73% of people who want a “good job” (defined below) are without one. Yet, we are constantly told that the unemployment rate globally is within single digits. Gallup does an excellent job explaining the difference, and also outlining what a “good job” means.
The same misleading numbers are used in the United States with the U-3 versus U-6 numbers (The Brenner Brief explained these difference numbers previously).
We frequently have to ask here at The Brenner Brief why the MSM isn’t doing its job. So, why is the MSM reporting that the global unemployment numbers are a number that is clearly so false? And, why does the MSM allow itself to believe the American numbers that also do not represent real unemployment? The average American doesn’t understand the difference between U-3 and U-6 numbers, so we just hear 7.9% or whatever the current number is and think it’s true. It’s not, America. You’re being lied to, well — kind of. But, it’s the lack of explanation in the number they’re choosing to report that is the biggest lie of them all.
So before you go thinking that socialism is working all over the world, just read below — it clearly isn’t working, as the global unemployment numbers present by Gallup demonstrate.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) just released its estimate for global unemployment. It claims there will be more than 200 million unemployed people worldwide this year. Using what it calls the “labor force participation rate,” the ILO calculates that approximately 64% of working age people are working or looking for work.
The problem is that the labor force participation rate includes, in developing countries, subsistence-level activities such as trading a chicken for some coal, selling fruit in traffic on busy roadways, and even begging. This definition of “work” is just too broad.
Let me explain: There are 7 billion people on Earth and 5 billion of them are adults aged 15 and older. So the ILO calculates that 64% of 5 billion — or 3.2 billion of these adults — are working or want to work. That is almost exactly what the Gallup World Poll found. When we asked a sample of the 5 billion adults in the world if they wished for a “good job,” almost exactly 60%, or 3 billion, told us yes.
So the ILO and Gallup agree — up to a point. Where we diverge is our definition of “work.” Gallup does not count work that is “informal” or “self-employed” or “part time” — selling fruit in traffic, etc. — because it makes the data very messy. There is also a huge variation of informal jobs between developing countries and more developed ones, so the comparison becomes apples to oranges.
Gallup has a rigorous and precise definition of a good job: one that is at least 30 hours per week for an employer. By that definition, 60% of 5 billion adults, or 3 billion people, desire a good job — and of that 3 billion, 27% report actually having a good job.
So Gallup’s World Poll data come to a very different conclusion from the ILO: We see that 2.2 billion — or 73% of the 3 billion people who want a good job — are actually out of work, versus the ILO’s estimate of 200 million without jobs as reported by the ILO.
Put another way, the ILO reports global unemployment at 5.9%, whereas Gallup reports global unemployment of good jobs at 73%.
While wildly different, they are both accurate figures for what they claim to report. But I question the value of a single statistic that reports world unemployment at 5.9%. At best, this figure grossly understates the world’s most serious problem, which is a massive shortfall of good jobs.
Now, we at Gallup are quick to realize that we are measuring different things, and we have great respect for ILO’s statistics. But I would strongly encourage all economists, governments, and nongovernmental organizations committed to human development to factor in Gallup World Poll unemployment, or Payroll to Population rate, in their assessments of global joblessness.
I say this because the single biggest cause of a nation’s instability is hopelessness that is rooted in unemployment and underemployment. In my view, the most salient statistic in predicting a country’s social and political stability is what percentage of a nation’s adult age population is engaged in a real full-time job — in a good job. For instance, the U.S.’ good job rate (Payroll to Population) is at 41%, the same as Canada’s. Spain’s and Poland’s rates are both 33%, while Iran’s and Mali’s are an alarmingly low 9%. As goes this single metric, so goes the very existence of a country’s future.
Source: Gallup, Chairman’s Blog
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- Worldwide unemployment soars, young workers most vulnerable – UN report (rt.com)
- Global Unemployment to Rise Again – ILO (voanews.com)
- World jobless number seen at record high in 2013: ILO (rappler.com)
- World jobless number seen rising to record high in 2013 – ILO (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Global unemployment will soon hit 202 million, ILO predicts (cbc.ca)
- Global unemployment to hit new record in 2013: report (business.financialpost.com)
- Crushing Global Unemployment Rises – ILO (247wallst.com)
- Worldwide “Jobless Numbers”: Global Unemployment Hits Record High, Declining Living Standards (prn.fm)
- World jobless number seen rising to record high in 2013: UN’s labour body (ndtv.com)
- Economic downturn has made jobs ‘skills mismatch’ worse, says ILO (telegraph.co.uk)