Global Talent Update - July 2016

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

Concerns about the impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy were allayed - for the moment - with the news of record-breaking employment figures for the March to May period. The U.K. unemployment rate plummeted to its lowest level in more than a decade, BBC News reported. Falling under 5 per cent for the first time since 2005, the unemployment rate posted at 4.9 per cent, with 176,000 jobs added between March and May.

Economists had expected the rate to hold at 5 per cent, according to the Financial Times. Average weekly earnings increased 2.3 per cent.

Said Chancellor Philip Hammond of the report: "Today's employment and wage figures are proof that the fundamentals of the British economy are strong. In the months before the referendum, employment in the U.K. reached a new record high, unemployment fell to its lowest in a decade and wages continued to rise."

Germany also registered a record-low unemployment rate in June. The rate fell to 5.9 per cent, the first time it has dropped below 6 per cent since 1991, Deutsche Welle reported.

"Despite the difficult environment, the German economy remains robust. Moderate growth can be expected during the rest of the year," said the Labour Agency in a statement, according to DW.

The labour report also showed that upward of 43 million people were employed in May, which is 559,000 more than in May 2015, the source noted.

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain received recognition from the World Economic Forum in its Human Capital Report 2016, according to the Khaleej Times. The report found that out of all countries in the region, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain most effectively take advantage of their human capital potential.

The UAE received recognition for a variety of factors, including employment, GDP and educational opportunities. The nation has an employment-to-population ratio of 69.4 per cent, with a low unemployment rate of 4.2 per cent. Its GDP per capita is also one of the highest in the world, at $67,674 in purchasing power parity.

Qatar had a high employment-to-population ratio of 86.9 per cent and a labour force participation rate of 84.1 per cent. Bahrain also ranked well in these categories, with an employment-to-population ratio of 70.2 per cent and a labour force participation rate of 68.8 per cent.

Asia-Pacific

The employment situation in Japan showed signs of improvement in May, with the unemployment rate remaining at a low 3.2 per cent and job availability posting its best level in nearly two-and-a-half decades, according to The Japan Times. Some 136 positions were available for every 100 jobs seekers.

Hiring is also on the rise, with the healthcare and welfare sectors adding a year-over-year total of 290,000 jobs and wholesale and retail adding 60,000 jobs, the source reported.

"The nation's labor market conditions have shown signs of recovery as companies appear willing to hire more people, especially in nonmanufacturing sectors," stated a government official at a press conference, according to The Japan Times.

In Thailand, a growing focus is being placed on innovation and its opportunities for economic and employment gains. Young businesses were found to have a major impact on job opportunities and economic benefits in the country, with a recent finding that 20 per cent of all new jobs in Thailand were created by companies that were less than one year old, according to The Nation. The report, which was published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Research, also found that businesses less than five years old generated two-thirds of all jobs in the country.

This spirit of innovation will be applied to establishing Thailand as a major aerospace hub, building on its robust automotive industry, which AIN Online notes is the 12th largest in the world. According to the source, several major U.S. companies, including General Electric and Triumph, have invested in aerospace operations and manufacturing in Thailand.

"I am personally convinced that Thailand can become a full-service aerospace hub," said Peter Gille, director of operations and engineering at Triumph Aviation Services - Asia, in an interview with AIN Online. "This is, in fact, what I am personally trying to contribute to."

Many companies are implementing training programmes to help develop the burgeoning aerospace workforce, much of which transfers from the automotive industry. One such company, Chromalloy Thailand, has more than 500 employees and offers 200 training courses each year in various fields of engine production and maintenance.

Americas

U.S. employment bounced back after a weak jobs report in May, while several Latin American countries are experiencing growth in a range of industries.

Amid the news of Brexit, the U.S. released a positive jobs report in early July. Some 287,000 jobs were added in June, a relief for economists after only 11,000 jobs were added the month prior.

Wages in June were 2.6 per cent higher than they were a year ago, growing in June at one of the fastest rates since 2009, according to The Washington Post.

Several U.S. industries posted strong job growth, including retail and healthcare. Retail sales increased 0.6 per cent in June, three times the growth posted in May, while industrial production was also up 0.6 per cent, noted The Associated Press.

Even with the job gains and rising wages the Federal Reserve chose not to raise interest rates, and it is unlikely they will be raised this year. Traders predict a 24 per cent chance of rate hikes in 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Though Brexit has consumed much of global attention recently, the focus is shifting to Brazil as it gears up to host the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, which begin Aug. 5. According to a study by the National Confederation of Trade, Services and Tourism, the Olympics and Paralympic Games will generate more than $800 million in revenue for the tourism industry, The Rio Times reported.

The plan to host the games that was submitted to the International Olympic Committee by Brazil estimated that the event will create 50,000 temporary and 15,000 permanent jobs in the country, in addition to the large number of construction jobs needed to build facilities for the games, the Columbia University Earth Institute reported.

Another recently released study found that Brazilian workers have become more skilled and received higher wages in the last decade. The report from the World Bank revealed that the minimum wage in Brazil has nearly doubled since 2002 while the average educational level rose by more than 50 per cent between 1995 and 2010.

In Mexico, employment and industrial output in several industries is rising. Mexico was named one of five areas in the world where the construction market will grow to $17.5 trillion by 2030, Global Construction reported. Mexico shared the designation with Egypt, the United Kingdom, India and Qatar.

The automotive industry is also seeing a boost in Mexico, with Michelin recently joining a growing list of automakers and parts suppliers building production facilities in the country. The new plant is anticipated to create more than 1,000 jobs, according to Rubber & Plastics News.