Global Talent Update - November 2016

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

In the U.K., unemployment fell to 4.8 per cent in the third quarter, its lowest rate in 11 years, the Financial Times reported. Some 49,000 more people were employed during the period compared to the quarter prior, bringing the total number of employed individuals in the country to 31.8 million.

Some experts believe these employment figures should quell concerns about Brexit.

"This is interesting because it is the first full quarter of post-referendum data and the headline is: nothing's changed," said Laura Gardiner, an analyst at the Resolution Foundation, in an interview with the Financial Times.

In Germany, employment growth for the third quarter was below expectations, rising just 0.4 per cent from the previous quarter, with 171,000 more people finding jobs, RTT News reported. The source noted that much of the job growth was due to employment gains in the service sector.

Despite the less than favorable Q3 figures, the central bank of Germany predicted that the national economy and employment rate would bounce back in the fourth quarter of this year, largely supported by improvements in the manufacturing industry, Reuters reported.

"Sentiment in the economy has improved considerably," Bundesbank representatives said in a statement. "This is particularly the case in manufacturing, where capacity utilization has continued to rise significantly and new orders are up."

The United Arab Emirates also experienced slower economic growth in October, with the Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index falling to 53.3 last month. However, innovation and growing output is anticipated to help strengthen the economy going into 2017.

“Overall, growth momentum appears to have eased at the start of the fourth quarter after a relatively strong third quarter, but the data still points to solid expansion in the UAE’s non-oil private sector in October,” said head of Mena Research at Emirates NBD, Khatija Haque, according to the source.

Much attention has been placed on investing in innovation to boost employment in the country, particularly in the tourism industry. The sector was responsible for 9 per cent of total GDP in 2015, and "contributed to the same share of employment," as Olivier Najar, a risk analyst at Business Monitor International, told The National.

Asia-Pacific

The unemployment rate in Thailand was at 1 per cent as of October 2016, during which its stock exchange registered growth for the 20th straight month, according to PressTV.

National leadership hopes that improvements to several of the major industries in the country will help boost employment and overall economic growth in the country. The automotive industry in particular has been a strong point for Thailand, which is one of the top 10 automotive exporters in the world, noted AutomoBlog. As of June 2016, the export of vehicles manufactured in Thailand was valued at $9.4 billion. The automotive industry is a significant contributor to employment in the country, with several major car companies setting up shop there.

"The industry has created millions of direct and indirect jobs and become a great source of income for all people within the supply chain," said Ajarin Pattanapanchai, Deputy Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment, according to AutomoBlog.

For example, Ford Thailand Manufacturing counts more than 2,000 employees in Thailand.

More jobs will be brought to the country when CN - Schaeffler, an automotive parts manufacturer, opens a new plant in Thailand, as Foundry-Planet reported. The "first phase" of the operation of the new plant will see 150 employees producing various auto parts.

The country hopes that its creative industries will also receive a large boost thanks to the opening of the innovative TCDC Commons in Bangkok, the first private library dedicated to creative professions in Thailand, The Nation reported. The library hopes to support entrepreneurship and knowledge-sharing in a range of fields from content strategy to animation. The source noted that Thailand currently has 860,654 working creative professionals.

Japan has also been seeing economic growth, with its gross domestic product expanding by 2.2 percent in the three months ending in September, Market Business News reported.

Though there was "some weakness" in the recent economic figures, "employment and wages are continuing to improve," said Economy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara in a statement.

The government has also been working to improve labor practices in the country, according to The Japan Times. A recent Reuters poll showed that 56 percent of Japanese companies are considering adjusting their work culture to discourage overtime work.

In other labor news, a record-high number of foreign students found employment in Japan upon graduation in 2015, The Japan Times reported, citing data from the Justice Ministry. Some 15,657 non-Japanese students secured work, up from nearly 6,000 in 2005.

Americas

Confidence in a strong and steady U.S. economy is improving, boosted by a robust labor market and remarks from the Federal Reserve that the country would be ready to withstand an interest-rate hike in the near future. Though the Brazilian economy has suffered over the past several years, a new report from the International Monetary Fund concludes the country is on the cusp of a recovery. To the west, Peru is making news with the fastest growing economy in Latin America.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. dollar reached its highest level in 13 years this week. Evaluating the U.S. currency against others is the ICE Dollar Index, which had the value up 2.9 per cent since the Nov. 8 election.

In October, construction of new homes reached a nine-year high, climbing 25.5 per cent while authorization for new construction projects also increased. Year-over-year consumer prices grew at the fastest rate in two years last month, another positive sign of a strong economy, according to the source.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has continued its 89th consecutive week of staying under 300,000, reported Bloomberg. In the week ending Nov. 12, jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since 1973, with a total of 235,000 people filing for claims last week according to figures from the Labor Department. Continuing claims also reached a milestone, declining to a 16-year low.

"At this stage, I do think that the economy is making very good progress toward our goals, and that the judgment the [Fed policy] committee reached in November still pertains," Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, noting that an interest rate rise is on the horizon.

In Brazil, things are beginning to look up. An annual report released by the IMF revealed that positive economic signs indicate the country is "poised to emerge from a deep recession," according to The Rio Times. To begin a successful recovery however, implementing the fiscal reforms will be essential. According to the report:

"Faster-than-expected progress on the reform agenda represents an upside risk that could spark a more vigorous recovery in investment, boosting foreign interest in Brazil, even as global interest rates remain low."

The recovery will be slow however, with only 0.5 per cent output growth forecast for Brazil for 2017.

While surrounding economies may be in a slump, Peru is forging ahead as the fastest growing country in Latin America, according to CNN Money. In the past decade the economy has more than doubled and most recently, the price of copper - the top export of Peru - has increased and is on the rebound.

Figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics put the economic growth for Peru for September 2016 at 4.13 per cent, reported El Peruano. The mining industry especially saw successful growth in the third quarter as gross domestic product grew 14.2 per cent.

The news came as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit conference began in Lima on Thursday at which many world leaders were in attendance. According to co-chair of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, Donald Campbell, as an emerging economic leader Peru has a lot of potential, aided by its natural resources and young population, reported El Peruano.

"I think you've got tremendous potential, because you've got a relatively young population, which evolves very well for the future," Campbell said. "Provided you embrace the new economy of services as well, your economy will be one of the best performers in the region."