Global Talent Update - August 2015

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

Employment situations varied across Europe, the Middle East and Africa throughout July.

Across Europe, many nations saw their unemployment rates rise. Greece, still in the midst of an economic crisis, experienced a jobless average of 25 per cent. Other Southern European nations, such as Spain and Portugal, maintained similarly high unemployment figures.

Deutsche Welle reported that even Germany, a nation that has been experiencing nine months of drops to its unemployment average, saw this rate rise from 6.2 per cent to 6.3 per cent. The source explained that this uptick was largely due to recent graduates entering the workforce, and the country is still in its strongest job situation since 1990.

South Africa's unemployment rate fell from 26.4 per cent in the first three months of the year to 25 per cent in the second quarter, according to Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey. While 5.35 million people were seeking work at the start of 2015, 5.23 million residents were looking for employment during the second part of the year. The largest quarterly gains were see in community and social services at 98,000, construction at 79,000 and trade at 73,000. Job losses were experienced in finance, manufacturing and agriculture at 31,000, 23,000 and 22,000 respectively.

Israel's unemployment rate remained stable during July. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the nation maintained a jobless average of 5.3 per cent, while the number of employed people was unchanged at just over 3.6 million. The country's economy is expected to expand at a rate of 3 per cent for the remainder of the year.

Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region saw varying employment situations during July. Many nations saw increases to their unemployment rates but maintained strong labour situations.

Unemployment rose in Japan during the first five months of the year, reported Financial Times. Despite the jobless average inching up from 3.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent, Japan's unemployment rate remains at a near 20-year low. The job to applicant ratio was unchanged at 1.19, the best rate since 1992. The source explained that this promising figure could cause the country's jobless rate to drop significantly during the latter part of 2015.

Like Japan, Singapore's unemployment rate rose slightly but remained low. During the second quarter of 2015, the country's jobless average grew from 1.8 per cent to 2 per cent. Channel News Asia reported that there was little difference compared to figures from 12 months ago. The source noted that the nation created 15,700 jobs and that the rise in joblessness is due to a large number of recent graduates entering the workforce.

Taiwan also saw a slight increase in its unemployment rate, which grew by .1 per cent to just above 3.8 per cent. Focus Taiwan explained that despite the increase in joblessness between June and July, this number was .2 per cent lower than it was a year ago. The country is still experiencing its strongest employment situation in 15 years, noted the source.

Americas

Employment numbers across the Americas varied recently. Some nations experienced notable growth to their labour situations, while others saw significant declines.

According to the Latin America Herald Tribune, Puerto Rico saw some improvement to its unemployment rate during the month of July. The country's jobless average fell by .7 per cent to 11.9 per cent. Between July 2014 and July 2015, the unemployment rate dropped by 1.8 per cent. The source noted that this is positive news for Puerto Rico, a nation currently dealing with a stagnant economy and a $73 billion deficit.

Brazil's labour situation continued to decline in July, with the unemployment rate rising to 7.5 per cent, up 2.6 per cent from July 2014, according to The Rio Times. Unemployment was highest in construction and industry, while employment in education and public administration increased. The source added that analysts expect unemployment to grow in the second half of the year, ending 2015 with between 8 and 8.5 per cent unemployed. Forbes reported that wages were down for the South American nation as well, as average salaries declined by 3 per cent from June to July. The source explained that the country is home to a large supply of workers, but recent financial scandals surrounding major oil industry employers have caused the nation to lose a significant amount of jobs.

In the U.S., unemployment remained stable during July at 5.3 per cent. CNBC reported that despite an unchanged jobless average, the country added 215,000 positions. The retail and healthcare industries experienced the most significant growth, noted the news source.