Global Talent Update - March 2017

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

The eurozone has continued to show signs of strong growth in the last several months, with recently released figures from Eurostat showing wage increases. In the last quarter of 2016, wages increased 1.6 per cent, compared to 1.5 per cent during the same time period in 2015, MarketWatch reported.

Analysts believe overall employment is improving, with the number of people working in the eurozone in the last three months of the year up 0.3 per cent. The source noted that the total number of employed people reached 153.9 million, which is the highest level since the financial crisis began in 2008.

France in particular has been showing positive employment figures. Figures from statistics firm Insee revealed that France added 187,200 new jobs in 2016, which is the highest level since 2007, The Local reported.

The French central bank also increased its growth predictions for the economy, forecasting that it would grow by 1.3 per cent this year.

PSA Group, the French company that owns Peugeot and Citroen, recently made headlines when it announced that it bought the European division of General Motors.

Included in the $2.2 billion deal are two U.K. factories for GM, which together have 4,500 employees, BBC reported. The sale will make PSA Group the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe. Volkswagen is currently the largest automaker.

"We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees," said chairman of the managing board of PSA, Carlos Tavares, according to the source.

In the Middle East, Jordan Minister of Labour Ali Ghazawi met with United Arab Emirates Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Saqr Ghobash, in early March to discuss "ways of promoting relations between the two countries in the labor [sic] fields as well as attracting more Jordanians to work in the UAE," according to a press release.

The improvement of vocational and technical programs to develop the careers of young people was also discussed during the meeting.

Asia-Pacific

The World Bank recently released a report that offers insights and recommendations for Thailand on how to boost economic prosperity and job prospects.

Entitled "Getting Back on Track: Reviving Growth and Securing Prosperity for All," the report is the first "Systematic Country Diagnostic" for Thailand, according to The Financial.

Among the recommendations was improvements to infrastructure in order to strengthen the connection between regions and in turn create more jobs. The report also advised allocating greater resources to supporting individuals in poverty and with low incomes through better education, improved social programs and greater agricultural productivity, the source reported.

More jobs may also be created in the country if ride-sharing services receive the go-ahead to ramp up their businesses. Uber said Monday that the Thai government agreed to have a third party conduct a study examining the benefits of ride-sharing, according to The Nation.

"Today, we'd like to thank the Ministry of Transport for the opportunity to talk about ridesharing and how technology can play a role in ensuring safe and reliable transportation," said Amy Kunrojpanya, director of Policy and Communications for Uber in Asia Pacific, according to the source.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday that he believes artificial intelligence will boost job growth in the country, despite the fears of other countries that the technologies will reduce the number of available positions, CNBC reported.

"Japan has no fear of AI. Machines will snatch away jobs? Such worries are not known to Japan. Japan aims to be the very first to prove that growth is possible through innovation, even when a population declines," Abe said, according to the source.

Abe also recently spoke highly about the potential of the tourism industry in Japan. The prime minister met with Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai, on Monday, who commended the efforts of the Action Program for Tourism, an initiative dedicated to strengthening the industry in Japan, according to ETN Global Travel Industry News.

Americas

Employment in the United States continued its strong start to the year, adding 235,000 jobs in February, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gains exceeded the expectations of economists, who predicted that the country would add 190,000 jobs during the month. Construction had the largest growth of any industry, adding 58,000 positions, the highest level in nearly 10 years, CNBC noted. Wages were also up in February, with average hourly earnings increasing by 2.8 per cent.

Brazil received significant employment news when it was revealed that the country added 35,612 jobs in February, breaking a nearly two-year-long streak of losses, Bloomberg reported. The country had consecutively lost jobs for the past 22 months.

"This news is important because 35,000 Brazilians have the chance to work and lead a dignified life," said Brazilian President Michel Temer, according to the source.

"The rise shows that the measures adopted by the government over the last seven months are putting our country back on track," added Labor Minister Ronaldo Nogueira.

A large portion of the new jobs was in the services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, Bloomberg noted. The gains are the first comeback by the Brazilian employment market since a two-year recession hit the country and caused the unemployment rate to reach a record high of 12.6 per cent.

In Mexico, the Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector recently stated that the country needs 11.5 million jobs to improve the employment situation in the country, Prensa Latina reported. The organization calculated that number based on the findings that there are 1.9 million Mexicans who do not hold jobs, 3.7 million who are underemployed and 5.9 million individuals who have stopped looking for employment because they believe they will not be able to find it.

 

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