Europe, Middle East and Africa
Employment situations varied throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa during the month of May. While some nations experienced growth, others saw their economies struggling to create jobs.
Great Britain has been experiencing positive employment gains over the past few months, and the nation's latest statistics show that May followed this upward trend. According to BBC News, the country's jobless rate is currently at 5.5 per cent, its lowest number since 2008. Labour force participation improved significantly, especially among women, who have a record high employment rate of almost 70 per cent. The news source explained that along with falling unemployment numbers, wages have been steadily increasing as well.
Unlike the UK, South Africa's employment numbers dropped in May. SABC reported that the country's jobless rate recently increased to its highest level in over 10 years, with close to 26 per cent of its population searching for work. The source attributed this to a lack of strong economic growth for the start of 2015.
Egypt is also experiencing a challenging employment situation, reported Ahram Online. The news source explained that joblessness is affecting all demographics, most notably the young and the educated. This issue is largely due to high rates of informal work, which cannot be documented or regulated, and extremely low numbers of entrepreneurs and startups, which are often essential in fueling job creation.
Although employment situations varied throughout Asia and the Pacific during May, many nations experienced positive labour growth.
Australia's unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. The country's jobless average reached 6 per cent, as 42,000 more people were able to secure employment. The source noted that this growth was largely fueled by increases in full-time work among men and part-time work among women. Australia's labour force participation rate remained solid at 64.7 per cent.
Channel News Asia reported that Singapore's jobless rate recently improved as well, falling from 1.9 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Despite sustaining losses to its manufacturing and services sectors at the start of 2015, Singapore saw its labour situation grow by 2.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The ratio of job openings to jobs seekers stood at 143 to 100, as more residents exited the workforce.
Taiwan's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in 15 years. The China Post reported that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May stood at 3.75 per cent. The country's labour force participation rate increased by .1 per cent to 58.52 per cent as the number of employed residents grew by 9,000.
Labour situations both improved and declined throughout the Americas during the month of May.
In the U.S., the unemployment rates increased slightly, going from 5.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent. Forbes reported that this increase was not due to a lack of jobs, as the country created 280,000 positions during the month of May. Rather, this slight uptick was attributed to more people joining the workforce and looking for jobs, a positive sign for the country's economy. The U.S. labour force participation rate remained stable at almost 63 per cent, while wages grew slightly.
Unemployment was on the rise in Brazil, reported the Latin American Herald Tribune. The most recent numbers for the country revealed that joblessness grew to 8 per cent during the first quarter of 2015, a 1.8 percent increase over the end of 2014. The source noted that while Brazil had successfully maintained a low unemployment rate for the past few years, slow economic growth in recent months has contributed to a declining labour situation.
Chile experienced a surprising drop to its unemployment rate for the first part of 2015, reported Bloomberg. Despite weak economic growth, the jobless rate fell from 6.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent during the first quarter, defying economists' expectations.