Special Report

Countries With the Best (and Worst) Jobs

3. Chile
> Pct. of adults with “great” jobs:
> Pct. of adults with “good” jobs: 37%
> 2014 GDP per capita: $20,188
> Unemployment rate: 7.1%

One of the strongest economies in South America, Chile also has a relatively high share of residents with great jobs. Roughly 11% of Chile’s adults have steady, engaging jobs that they feel are meaningful. The United States and Panama are the only countries in the world where a larger share of adults has a great job. The South American nation has experienced these positive economic and quality of life outcomes despite relatively low educational attainment. Only 51.1% of Chileans over the age of 24 have completed secondary schooling, or the equivalent of high school. In the United States, slightly more than 88% of adults have completed high school.

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2. United States
> Pct. of adults with “great” jobs:
> Pct. of adults with “good” jobs: 44%
> 2014 GDP per capita: $49,725
> Unemployment rate: 8.9%

The United States is tied with Panama for the distinction of having highest concentration of quality employment opportunities in the world. Based on the 12 questions in Gallup’s survey, which determined whether employees had opportunities to grow and received adequate feedback on their work, among a range of other indicators, 13% of U.S. adults have a great job. Like several other countries where individuals report healthy professional lives, the United States is one of the wealthiest in the world. The nation’s GDP of $15.5 trillion is the highest economic output worldwide. In addition, the country’s relatively strong education system helps improve occupational satisfaction.

1. Panama
> Pct. of adults with “great” jobs:
> Pct. of adults with “good” jobs: 31%
> 2014 GDP per capita: $15,369
> Unemployment rate: 4.5%

Although Panama’s unemployment rate is a relatively low 4.5%, only 31.0% of adults in the Central American country are working at least 30 hours a week and receive a steady paycheck, according to a multi year survey conducted by Gallup. Panama ties the United States, however, as the country with the highest share of adults who report having great jobs. Panama is also doing well by more traditional economic measures. The Panamanian economy expanded by roughly 10.8% in 2014, the sixth highest growth rate in the world that year.

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