Only 26 percent of working-age adults 15 and over around the world were employed full time by an employer in 2012, according to Gallup's latest Payroll to Population metric. Another 18 percent were self-employed and working more than 30 hours per week, meaning that just 44 percent of the global population was employed full time in 2012.
These numbers represent a decline since 2011, when 27 percent of the world's population was employed full time by an employer and 19 percent were employed full time for themselves. Worse still, 38 percent of the global adult population was out of the workforce in 2012, up from 37 percent in 2011.
The global unemployment rate was 8 percent in 2012, unchanged from 2011. Another 10 percent are employed part time but want to find full-time work.
America's employment picture is the best overall, with 42 percent employed full time by an employer and 5 percent self-employed full time. European countries that are not part of the European Union came in second, with 40 percent employed full time for an employer and 5 percent self-employed full time.
America does trail the rest of the world in full-time self-employment, especially Southeast Asia (28 percent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (23 percent), but both of those countries had low levels of full-time employment by employers.