Global Talent Update - April 2015

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

Employment has recently varied greatly across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. While some nations saw progress, many experienced setbacks to their employment situations.

The unemployment rate for the European Union remained steady at 11.3 per cent, according to BBC News, which is the region's lowest jobless rate since May 2012. Within Europe, the UK experienced positive changes to its employment situation. Forbes magazine noted that the UK's jobless rate dropped to 5.6 per cent, its lowest number in seven years. Spain, which has been struggling with record-high jobless rates, saw a decline of 60,214 unemployed residents, a positive sign for future progress.

Zawya reported that Saudi Arabia's unemployment rate and inflation were on the rise recently, largely due to ineffective policies. International Business Times explained that the nation has a large population of recent graduates who simply are not qualified for available private sector positions, a problem that is driving the jobless rate up.

South Africa has also been experiencing high unemployment rates, with its current jobless average at 25 per cent. CNN explained that this negative labour situation is a result of social turmoil, mostly due to immigration issues. A government report revealed that while youth unemployment is the largest issue, jobless rates remain high for people between the ages of 25-44 as well.

Asia-Pacific

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, labor situations were largely positive in March. Some nations experienced unexpected growth, while others continued to improve as predicted.

Singapore's population of white-collar workers have been experiencing both low unemployment rates and income growth. Asia One News reported that local professionals currently have an unemployment rate of just 2.9 per cent. Wages for native professionals, managers, executives and technicians have increased by 2 per cent over the past 6 years. Salaries for all higher-wage positions, including foreign workers, has increased by 2.1 per cent over the same time span.

ABC reported that Australia's unemployment rate declined unexpectedly to 6.1 per cent, and 37,000 jobs were created. The source noted that Australian economists had anticipated a stagnant or declining labor situation, but were proven wrong when stocks started to rise, particularly those in mining and finance.

China's unemployment rate rested at 5.1 per cent, noted Nasdaq. The source explained that while this average shows little change, it is likely not accurate because it is unable to take into account the nation's vast number of migrant workers. Urban employment grew during the first quarter of 2015, however, when 3.2 million new jobs were created.

Americas

Labour situations varied across the Americas recently, with many countries remaining stable and unchanged.

Recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that while the country added 126,000 jobs in March, it was lower than the 248,000 economists had predicted, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 per cent. Some of the industries that experienced the most notable growth were professional and business services, architectural and engineering services, and healthcare. The Huffington Post reported that the U.S. economy is expected to grow 3 per cent during 2015.

Ecuador's unemployment rate fell to 3.48 per cent in March, representing a 1 per cent drop from one year ago. Telesur reported that the country has been working toward improving its labour situation with governmental programs focused on worker training. Additionally, the Ecuadorian government has been working with large private sector companies to create positions. The source pointed to a collaborative training initiative that has given 8,000 residents jobs installing cooktops in 13 provinces.

Brazilian unemployment is on the rise, according to Forbes magazine. While the country's jobless rate hit historic lows at the end of 2014, it recently climbed back up to 7.4 per cent for the first quarter of 2015. The source explained that political issues combined with oil problems will cause all industries to decline, particularly construction, a field that is already experiencing layoffs.