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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Unprecedented Read on Global Employment

Gallup today released the first results from newly developed global employment measures that took more than two years to research and fine-tune.

The findings, detailed in a lead story on and provided in full detail in our new global employment tracking interactive, reveal that 7% of the world's workforce was unemployed in 2009 and 2010. Additionally, they tell us that another 12% were working part time but seeking full-time work, making 19% in total who were underemployed.

Gallup sought to create these metrics to provide the world, for the first time, with employment measures based on the same standards and methodology worldwide, so that they can be compared across countries.

At the release of these findings, Sara Elder, a labour economist at the International Labour Organization (ILO), credited Gallup with "attempting to step in to fill the data gap," saying the new measures provide country data on which the ILO previously had little to no data.

Also at the event, Dr. Alan Krueger of Princeton University, a former assistant secretary and chief economist at the U.S. Department of Treasury and a Gallup senior scientist, said, "Gallup has done a service to the world" with these data, calling them reliable, plausible, and consistent with other evidence. He said the data will allow leaders "to look at whether their country is underperforming compared to their region or countries with similarly structured economies."

In addition to the globally comparable data on unemployment and underemployment, Gallup initiated a new global metric that measures the percentage of a country's workforce that is employed full time for an employer. Jon Clifton, deputy director of Gallup's Social & Economic Analysis division and a coauthor of Gallup's white paper detailing the research that went into the work, said this new metric aims to provide a better benchmark of good jobs -- that is, those beyond subsistence jobs that contribute to the formal economy -- than those that are available. Gallup finds 40% of the world's workforce employed in this way, with dramatic differences by country and region.

Gallup finds this new measure of employment full time for an employer to have a strong statistical relationship with GDP. This makes it an especially powerful indicator for world leaders -- to help them measure and track their efforts to create quality jobs that truly help to improve residents' lives and economies more broadly.

Avid readers of may notice when reviewing the data that the global data are reported in ranges, rather than with the precision with which we report our U.S. employment data. This is a result of our current worldwide sample sizes. While in the U.S. we survey at least 1,000 Americans each night, in many countries worldwide we are currently only able to survey 1,000 residents each year. We hope to increase our sample sizes in many countries in the coming years, as we create powerful partnerships to help us further this important work.

As was made clear at today's event, these data are just the beginning of where we are headed with this work. We will continue to improve and refine these metrics to increase the value they provide. Comments and suggestions are welcome at

In the meantime, we'll report more about what we've already learned on over the coming weeks and months. To make sure you get every story as soon as it published, sign up to receive our Global Employment e-mail alerts or RSS feed.

Update: Read coverage of these measures from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, NPR, and Bloomberg.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Incoming Intel for Leaders and Economy Watchers

One of the goals of this blog is to provide a heads up on what's coming your way on

Having now given you the public opinion context both before and after the Tucson shootings, we're thinking about the leadership decisions ahead.

There are just some of the stories coming your way in the next week:

Thursday, we'll provide our first 2011 read on what Americans see as the most important problem facing the country. (Update: read the story.)

Friday, we'll report on Americans' priorities for the president and new Congress. Is it most important that they deal with unemployment, the federal budget deficit, healthcare, social security, taxes, illegal immigration, or one of many other competing priorities? We'll find out and report back. (Update: read the story.)

Monday, we'll tell you who Americans want to see in the driver's seat of the country over the next year -- President Obama or Republicans in Congress.

We're also working on some big economic stories:

Monday, we'll report on Americans' views about the housing market, including whether they think it is a good time or bad time to buy a house and whether they think home prices are headed up or down.

Tuesday, we'll provide our mid-month update on unemployment and underemployment, without seasonal adjustment, to provide a real-time read on the jobs situation.

And Wednesday, we'll release for the first-time data from our three brand new global employment measures, presenting an unprecedented picture of the global employment situation worldwide. (I'll have more on that next week.)

To make sure get all of these stories as soon as they are published, sign up to receive "All Gallup Headlines" via e-mail alert or RSS. In the meantime, you can read up on Americans' views on a potential healthcare repeal, economic confidence, job creation, and much more on

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thank You for a Great 2010

Thank you to the more than 1.4 million readers, on average, who visited our site each month in 2010. You helped us to achieve 24% growth from 2009 at a time when many news sites are seeing traffic decline.

We're thrilled to provide a unique, empirical take on what's happening in the world, whether it is the healthcare debate that brought so many of you to our site last year, our timely economic metrics that provide the most-to-date read on the economy that you will find anywhere, our wellbeing work measuring all of the non-monetary things that make life worthwhile, or our global research where we give a voice to billions of citizens around the world.

In 2010, we gave you many more ways to consume our news, hopefully making it easier and more fun to do so. We've been thrilled by the response to our presidential job approval center and watched the 2010 congressional race evolve right along with you on our Election 2010 Key Indicators interactive. We also built interactives to help you monitor what is happening in your state and around the world, among others. Hundreds of thousands of you have also come to us via our new mobile applications for iPhone and Android, as well as our perennially popular widget.

Below, I share with you our most-read stories of the year, both overall and in our key topic areas of economy, wellbeing, and world news. While the bulk of you still come to us for political and leadership news, we want to make sure you don't miss the insights we provide daily with our economic, wellbeing, and world news. For a good grasp of all that we cover, check out our our annual Year in Review.

If you like and value it as a trusted source for news and intelligence, please share our site with a friend. With your support and continued growth, we can continue to enhance our site and to improve the news we bring to you.

Finally, since we're all about listening to the people, please know you can always e-mail us with comments, questions, or suggestions at Thank you for readership, as always. We look forward to sharing many more breakthroughs with you in 2011.

Most-read stories of 2010:
2010 Electorate Still Looking More Republican Than in the Past
Republicans Appear Poised to Win Big on Tuesday
Congress Ranks Last in Confidence in Institutions
Obama's Approval Rating at New Low in Most Recent Quarter
Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment at 10.1% in September
Obama's Approval Rating Lowest Yet, Congress' Declines
GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot
Blacks and Whites Continue to Differ Sharply on Obama
Obama's Weekly Job Approval Rating at 46%
In U.S., Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Remains a Rarity

Most-read economy, wellbeing and world stories:
Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment at 10.1% in September
Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment at 10.0% in Mid-October
Underemployment Rises to 20.3% in March
Federal Government Outpaces Private Sector in Job Creation
Underemployed Report Spending 36% Less Than Employed

Wellbeing: Hawaii Tops Utah for Nation’s Best
What America's Most Obese Metro Areas Have in Common
Among Large Cities, San Jose and D.C. Lead in Wellbeing
Adult Smoking Ranges From 13% to 31% Across U.S. States
One in Three Adults Obese in America's Most Obese States

Global Wellbeing Surveys Find Nations Worlds Apart
Religiosity Highest in World's Poorest Nations
Migration Could Triple Populations in Some Wealthy Nations
World Citizens' Views on U.S. Leadership, Pre- and Post-Obama
Global Perceptions of U.S. Leadership Improve in 2009

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Where Obama and the New Congress Begin

As we welcome President Obama and the 112th Congress to work, here are a few facts from Gallup on where they begin:

  • President Obama hit 50% approval in our Gallup Daily tracking for Dec. 28-29 and Jan. 2, meaning he got a slight bump while on vacation and out of the news. The 50% mark has been elusive for Obama since late May/early June. We'll be watching his daily and weekly averages to see if he can sustain this slightly higher level of approval once he's back in the headlines.
  • As the legislative battles unfold, the race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 will also begin to take shape. When we asked about the field of potential candidates in November, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee were essentially tied, with Newt Gingrich close behind. This week, we're asking Americans how familiar they are with the key potential candidates and how strongly their feelings are, one way or the other. We'll report results to you in the next few days.
To read more on these topics, check out these tag pages: Presidential Job Approval, Congress, Healthcare, Government, and Election 2012.

You can also sign up to get all of our stories, as soon as they are published, via our Politics or All Gallup Headlines e-mail alerts and RSS feeds.

If you have a story idea or question you'd like to see asked, post a comment here or e-mail us at

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