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Attitude Toward Job Prospects Remains Poor: Survey

Europeans extremely pessimistic about job opportunities

| BY Kent McDill

Job market optimism in 2012 remained unchanged from a global perspective, although the former Soviet Union reports  the greatest optimism while the European market remains pessimistic about finding work, a new Gallup poll reveals.

A survey of respondents from 141 countries and areas revealed 33 percent of respondents worldwide said now is a good time to find a job. That number remains the same as the number from the same survey in 2011. Fifty-seven percent of respondents worldwide said it was a bad time to be looking for work.

While the worldwide numbers remain the same, certain regions have changed attitudes significantly, and the most newly optimistic major region was the former Soviet Union, which reported a four percent increase in optimism, up to 27 percent of respondents. The Americas remained the most optimistic overall, at 40 percent of positive responses.

As economic conditions remain depressed in most European countries, that region saw a three percent decrease in job market optimism. A full 75 percent of European respondents said it was a bad time to be looking for work. In Greece, 98 percent of respondents said it was a bad time to be looking for a job, while Italy was at 95 percent and Spain was at 94 percent.

There were areas of the world with a positive viewpoint on the topic, and most of them were in the emerging markets in Asia. An extremely optimistic 73 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia and Thailand said it was a good time to be looking for work. High oil prices which translate to expanded wealth in those areas were considered a likely contributor to the high prospect for employment.

The most optimistic of the world’s top 10 economies is Brazil, which reported 56 percent of respondents believing it is a good time to be looking for work. Brazil is hosting both the 2014 Men’s World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which could be bolstering job opportunities.

China reported the greatest improvement of optimism in the job market with a four percent increase while the numbers from France dropped seven percent, to 73 percent of respondents saying it is a bad time to be looking for a job.

In the United States, the numbers improved from 2011 to 2012 by two percent, with a total of 28 percent of respondents saying it is a good time to be searching for a job. The median number for the 10 top economics of the world is 27 percent.

Although most countries are reporting continued recovery from the global economic downturn of a few years ago, the perception of job availability does not seem to be improving. The most optimistic areas are those with economies based on natural resource production, while the most advanced economics report some of the lowest numbers in terms of job market optimism.

A recent survey conducted by Millionaire Corner determined that 27 percent of wealthy investors are concerned about losing their job, or having their spouse lose their job. That number jumps to 42 percent for respondents ages 45-54, and is at 37 percent for those 44 years old and younger.

While “maintaining my current financial position’’ was the No. 1 concern of 27 percent of millionaires surveyed, only three percent listed “losing my job or spouse losing their job” as their No. 1 concern.

About the Author

Kent McDill


Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.