Newly released Gallup poll data from 2011 show most of the world was pessimistic about the job market last year, with 57 percent of adults surveyed across 146 countries responding that it was a bad time to find a job where they lived.
The poll, which is based on both telephone and face-to-face interviews with about 1,000 adults per country, is considered a strong indicator of the public's economic confidence.
European countries, still embroiled in the eurozone crisis that has spawned continent-wide austerity measures and sparked rancorous protests, fared worst in the poll, with 72 percent saying they felt it was a bad climate for job-hunting. Currently, six of the 17 countries that use the euro currency are still in recession, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Gallup stated that it expected the European outlook to remain gloomy through 2012, as the region continues to struggle under heavy debt loads, as well as the recent Libor rate manipulation scandal, which is expected to continue to have a negative effect on investor confidence.
The Americas ranked highest in the poll, although only 38 percent of respondents said it was a good time to find a job. In the United States, only 26 percent of respondents were optimistic about the market.
Brazil had the highest optimism rate of the 10 largest world economies, beating out Germany for the top spot. In 2011, the South American country overtook the United Kingdom as the sixth largest economy based on GDP (Gross Domestic Product). A CNN Money report from May titled "Where the Jobs are: Brazil" notes that a low unemployment rate and burgeoning construction boom is luring young professionals from around the world.
The top 10 most optimistic countries included plenty of oil-rich nations, with Saudi Arabia coming out on top. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed in the country said they believed it was a good time to look for a job. Oman, Qatar and Kuwait also made the list, indicating that the fossil fuel-based economies in these countries had created something of an economic cushion as the global demand for oil continues to increase, Gallup notes.
The region as a whole, however, had mixed feelings on its economic prospects. For example, nearly 9 out of 10 Egyptians said it was a bad time for a job search, as the country continues to recover in the wake of its turbulent regime change last year.
Gallup goes on to predict that "leaders must address systemic issues to achieve sustainable long-term employment and economic growth." In addition, "long-term strategic planning need to be flexible and take into account" changing realities in countries, ranging from graying populations to an increase in the need for welfare programs.