Markets

Where in the World Are Job Seekers Most Optimistic? The Answer May Surprise You

The worldwide employment landscape has changed drastically over the past five years.

Within the United States, the unemployment rate has fallen by 38% from a peak of 10% in October 2009 to its latest reading of 6.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in July. This drop in unemployment has been one of the key forces credited with getting the U.S. economy back on track, and it has allowed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to reach one new all-time high after another.

After hitting a low of 7.2% in early 2008, the unemployment rate
in the eurozone moved progressively higher, touching 12% last year.
Despite minor improvements, the EU unemployment rate is still
sitting at 11.5%, up substantially from the 7%-8% range before the
global recession. It's no wonder that more than three-quarters of
respondents view the job-seeking environment in the EU as
"bad."

Graph by author. Data source: TradingEconomics.

After hitting a low of 7.2% in early 2008, the unemployment rate in the eurozone moved progressively higher, touching 12% last year. Despite minor improvements, the EU unemployment rate is still sitting at 11.5%, up substantially from the 7%-8% range before the global recession. It's no wonder that more than three-quarters of respondents view the job-seeking environment in the EU as "bad."

But it's not just Europe; it's practically the entire world. While the EU may have some of the highest unemployment rates in the world -- thanks in large part to the monstrously high unemployment rates in Greece (27.2%), Portugal (13.9%), and Spain (24.5%) -- global sentiment on finding a job is poor in every region of the world . In other words, there could be a genuine disconnect between stock market performance and the health of the global labor force that will come to a head sooner rather than later.

The reason I suggest this is that a growing labor force is one of telltale signs of a healthy economy. If job-seekers feel discouraged about the jobs market in their city, then they could be less likely to seek work. If that happens on a wide scale, it could slow global labor force expansion and adversely affect global growth prospects.

Tthis survey is now a year old, and an update could shed light on whether this global outlook has improved. But the reality is that the majority of people worldwide aren't satisfied with the current state of the jobs market and that a dissatisfied and discouraged labor force makes it difficult for individual economies to keep chugging along.

The global labor market may be dicey, but these high-yield dividends certainly aren't!

The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend-paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now .

The article Where in the World Are Job Seekers Most Optimistic? The Answer May Surprise You originally appeared on Fool.com.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong , track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong , and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong .The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

Stocks

Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More