Results of surveys from 129 countries indicated 19 percent of the workforce worldwide is underemployed, including 7 percent who were unemployed.
The Princeton, N.J., polling agency said its Employed Full Time for an Employer Index quantified the percentage of workers in good jobs, instead of subsistence jobs that don't lift people out of poverty or contribute to the country's formal economic output.
Gallup said the index has a positive link with countries' gross domestic product per capita, meaning countries with a higher percentage of workers employed full time for an employer tend to have higher GDP per capita.
Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 people, age 15 and older, in each survey administration. Interviews were conducted in 129 countries during 2009 and 2010. For results based on the total sample, the margin of error ranged from a low of 1.4 percentage points to a high of 4.7 percentage points.
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