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Job Market Giving You a Hard Time? Keep Your Pants On

The next time you’re feeling frisky, consider the global job market. The World Watch Institute gave FastCompany.com a peek at the statistics from its new pay-per-view database, which stands to become a catchall for anyone interested in parsing destructive global trends. Its findings on global workforce rates, for example, show a drastic shift in who’s earning what and where.

The next time you’re feeling frisky, consider the global job market.

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The World Watch Institute gave FastCompany.com a peek at the statistics from its new pay-per-view database,
which stands to become a catchall for anyone interested in parsing destructive global trends.
Its findings on global workforce rates, for example, show a drastic shift in who’s earning what and where.

The global workforce has skyrocketed over the past
decade with 65% of the world population–a whopping 4.46 billion
people–ready to collect a paycheck. That’s up about 20% from a
decade ago and nearly triple the rate of the 1950s. Overall, the workers able to bring in paychecks in the global economy has stayed fairly consistent, hovering around 69%. But
the countries that have less competition for their best jobs–meaning overall higher employment rates and better quality of life–are those where less children are born.

A graph of the breadwinner’s boom proves the obvious: That we all basically bred our way into this mess in the first place.

workforce

To take it a step further, another graph from World Watch Institute shows that its these high-income countries that control most of the world GDP.

workforce

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Look closer at the minutia of the report and there is at least one example for how countries can get back ahead. Since 1965 a handful of East Asian countries have essentially banked because of policies and cultural stigmas against over-breeding. As a whole, societal pressure for prudishness meant that not only was there a bit more disposable income lying around, but that there were fewer kiddos vying for well paying gigs in the local marketplace; more people could get employed and their overall wealth has quietly risen. (See Figure 2).

The good news: Labor growth in most other industrialized countries appears to have finally peaked.

workforce

So the next time the ailing economy (or your own unemployment) takes its toll on your libido, remember, that might be the best thing for you and the standard of living in your country.

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About the author

Ben Paynter is a senior writer at Fast Company covering social impact, the future of philanthropy, and innovative food companies. His work has appeared in Wired, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the New York Times, among other places.

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