It’s time to retire the global unemployment metric and replace it with a different one: the percentage of people with great jobs. Why? The current metric fails to capture the millions of truly unemployed people who aren’t working jobs that drive economic productivity.
According to the International Labour Organization, global unemployment is 5% — the lowest level in decades.
Of the more than 7 billion people on Earth, about 5 billion are adults. The “global workforce” is over 3 billion people.
The report looks at the percentage of people who have 1) “good jobs” — the 1.5 billion people who work 30 hours a week for an employer — and 2) “great jobs,” those who are engaged at work.
Gallup finds that only 5% of the world has a great job.
The percentage of adults with good jobs continues to vary widely from country to country, and largely in line with their level of economic development, which is usually a good indicator of the availability of formal, diversified employment opportunities.
At the country level, the percentages range from as low as 3% in poor countries, such as Haiti — which was also the lowest in the world in the last report — to as high as 61% in wealthier countries, such as Kuwait, where the majority of the population is made up of expatriates, many of whom are in the country just to work.
People working at good jobs only have great jobs if they are also engaged in what they feel is meaningful and fulfilling work and that they feel they are experiencing personal growth and development in the workplace. Worldwide, 24% of adults have good — but not great — jobs, and just 5%, or about 265 million people, have great jobs.
More discouraging still is that the percentage of adults with great jobs rarely tops 10% in any country. The percentage of adults with great jobs ranges from 14% in the United Arab Emirates to 1% in 14 countries.