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Pound Flounders Below $1.30 but FTSE 100 Rallies to 11-month High After Strong US Jobs Data
Since the Brexit vote, the pound has fallen by more than 13 percent against the dollar and 10 percent against the euro. Nevertheless, it managed to post gains on the day on Friday, 8 July, up 0.32 percent to $1.2944. London's FTSE 100 rallied to a high of 6,605.83 in intraday trade last Friday as well, its highest level since touching 6,612.13 on 4 July. The blue chip index rose 56.85, points, or 0.87 percent, to 6,590.64, jumping on the back of strong U.S. job growth figures, which triggered another leg down in the pound. The FTSE 100 is dominated by international companies that hold 70 percent of their revenues outside the UK. As such, the pound weakness helps exporters and gives firms an accounting boost. Since the Brexit vote, the FTSE 100 has climbed by more than 4 percent. In the past three weeks, the FTSE 100 has rallied some 9.3 percent—its best three-week spell since July 2010. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor recorded a surge in jobs growth for June, as manufacturing employment increased. Non-farm payrolls grew by 287,000 jobs—the biggest gain since last October, and above forecasts of 175,000. It is a huge leap from May's report, which showed a creation of 11,000 jobs (revised down from 38,000). Read on for additional analysis and related news.
Hungary Announces Referendum on EU Migrant Relocation Policy
An announcement from the office of Hungarian President Janos Ader on Tuesday said that a referendum would be held on 2 October, regarding the issue of the EU-prescribed mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in the country. At the height of the refugee crisis in Europe, many migrants seeking entry into the EU entered via Hungary, prompting the government to place fences along its southern border in September. The solution agreed by the EU—to redistribute migrants across the bloc based on a quota system—was met with intense opposition in Hungary, which has joined Slovakia in bringing a case to the European Court of Justice. See more information from Deutsche Welle.
Israel’s Tech Industry: Talent Search
Israel was long regarded as a booming high-tech sector, with foreign tech giants regularly announcing acquisitions of local firms and a record $4.4 billion in venture capital recorded by Israeli startups in 2015—a 30 percent increase over the prior year. Yet, there are signs that the country once christened as the “startup nation” may be losing steam. Between 1998 and 2012 the tech industry grew on average by 9 percent annually, more than double the rate of Israel’s GDP. In all but one of the past six years, the tech sector has expanded at a slower rate than the overall economy. The main cause for the slowdown is a growing shortage of trained workers, according to a recent report by the chief economist of the ministry of finance. Two previously rich sources of tech talent—academics and employees of state-owned industries moving into the private sector and the arrival of tens of thousands of Jewish engineers emigrating from the former Soviet Union—have dried up. Two growing parts of the Israeli population are underrepresented in the job market: Israeli Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox, who together make up around 25 percent of the population. Israel’s universities are producing fewer engineers, too; the share of graduates with science degrees is down from 12 percent in 1998 to 9 percent in 2014. At the same time, demand for skilled tech workers continues to grow in both the private and public sectors, and Israeli’s tech industry may not be making the best or most strategic use of the talent available. Read the Economist article for what is shaping these trends and how the Israeli government is addressing them.
Six Things to Consider When Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa
Over the past two decades, Sub-Saharan Africa has caught the attention of an increasing number of investors seeking new and promising opportunities. While growth has slowed in some of the region’s oil exporting countries, the “Africa Rising” narrative continues due to the region’s youthful population of 1 billion people (70 percent are under 30), rapid urbanization, and ongoing improvements in democratic governance, economic management and peace and security. Sub-Saharan Africa remains ripe with potential and opportunity, but there are important factors to consider when seeking to do business in the region—from recognizing that market boundaries and country borders do not necessarily align, to understanding the importance of strategic relationships and the role that the government plays in the private sector. Read on for key information for business professionals and investors to know.
Japan the Most Expensive APAC Place for Expatriate Living
Japan ranks as the most expensive expatriate pay region for middle managers, with an annual average of $329,000, according to Human Resources Online, followed by Mainland China, India, Hong Kong and Australia in terms of cost. Malaysia, at $176,000, ranks last among the 16 cities or countries rated. The estimates are from ECA International's annual My Expatriate Market Pay survey, which factors in cash salary, benefits (living accommodations, schools, utilities and/or cars) and taxes. A total package for an expatriate middle manager in Mainland China is worth about $290,000, the region's largest increase this year, likely the result of rising costs of benefits in the country, at least in first-tier locations. See more.
Singapore is Leading the Way for the Digital Economy: Study
Topping the list of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) “networked readiness” index for the second year in a row, Singapore is the country that seems to be benefiting the most from the investments it has made into technological innovations. The index analyzes how prepared countries are to benefit from emerging technologies and opportunities created by digital innovation, which the WEF calls the fourth industrial revolution. “Singapore has put into place a very strong government strategy to promote information and communications technology in terms of skills, infrastructure, business usage and individual usage. This coherent approach to really pushing it forward was what made it a success,” said Margareta Drzeniek, lead economist at the WEF. Read on for more information and additional country rankings.
U.S. Cities With Growing Tech Presence Lure Skilled, Educated Millennial Workforce
San Francisco remains the leading tech market in the U.S. for now, but the competition for talent is getting tougher as more highly skilled tech workers—especially millennials—flock to cities where the cost of living is lower and tech jobs are plentiful. CBRE Group, Inc.'s annual Scoring Tech Talent report ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. It found that both new and expanding companies are establishing footprints in more affordable markets, like Nashville, Tennessee, Charlotte, North Carolina, Tampa, Florida, Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona. In the report’s “Tech Talent Scorecard,” established markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C. and Seattle continued to dominate the top spots, and Austin, Texas moved up from number 8 to number 5. Vancouver, BC rounded out the list of the top 10 “momentum markets,” showing the largest growth rates in tech talent. See additional rankings and analysis of the factors shaping tech markets today.
More People Work From Home Now Than Ever Before
Thanks to 24/7 connectivity, the boundaries between work and life are eroding, several studies have found. A survey from EY reported that 64 percent of U.S. workers indicate they’re working two to four hours more a week and one-third (36 percent) are on the job an extra five hours or more. At the same time, satisfaction with work-life balance is sliding downward. A recent Glassdoor survey of employee feedback from about 60,000 company reviews reveals a drop in ratings from 3.5 (out of a possible 5) in 2009 to 3.2 this year. Some of that extra time working could be attributable to a growing number of Americans working from home. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS') annual American Time Use Survey (ATUS) polls thousands of Americans on how they spend their days over the course of a year. In 2015, the ATUS found that overall, employed persons worked an average of 7.6 hours on the days they worked. They put in more hours on weekdays (8 hours) as compared to 5.6 hours on weekends. On the days they worked, 82 percent did some or all of their work at their workplace while 24 percent conducted some or all of their work at home. Thirty-eight percent of workers in management, business, and financial operations occupations and 35 percent of those employed in professional and related occupations did some or all of their work from home. The number of people working from home increased from 19 percent in 2003 (the first year the ATUS was conducted) to 24 percent in 2015. Concurrent with the findings of the previous surveys on longer hours, the ATUS reveals that the average time employed persons spent working at home on days they worked increased by 40 minutes from 2.6 hours to 3.2 hours. Read on for further analysis of the data.
3 Reasons Why Talent Management Isn’t Working Anymore
As CEOs grapple with the ongoing struggle to secure the best talent, are they asking the right questions? Todd Warner makes the case that genuine solutions to the challenges require an understanding of talent management systems’ current limitations. From rewarding compliance over creativity and ignoring the context or DNA of a corporate culture, he explores how and why organizations often promote and protect the wrong people, or inadvertently cultivate systems to police and maintain the status quo. Click through to the full article for more information.
5 Roles That Will Power 21st Century Human Resources Departments
With the premise that great people make a great company, organizations of the 21st century have to be increasingly employee-centric to stay relevant and push the boundaries of industry. This places new demands on corporate HR teams, especially as talent becomes an increasingly hot commodity in the global marketplace and individuals have more power to knowingly influence the culture of a company than ever before. With a move toward specialization over generalization, CHRO responsibilities are spreading across diverse areas demanding “fully stacked” teams to support them. Roles focusing on engagement, learning and diversity are three examples of some of the key areas that Kavi Guppta believes will empower HR departments to meet changing needs. See more information about these and find out what the other two are.
What to Wear to Work? Soon, A Tiny Computer
Wearable technology startups have been in the headlines for such lifestyle gadgets as fitness trackers, virtual-reality gaming headsets and jewelry that delivers text-message alerts. But wearable development in the near future is focusing on needs in the workplace. Smart glasses that can help manufacturers follow complex assembly directions, voice-activated clip-on computers that help store clerks check inventories, or caps with sensors that make sure long-distance truckers aren’t dozing off are just a few examples. As a business proposition, “work-wearables” may offer advantages over the consumer-oriented products, such as solving existing problems vs. defining new ones; faster scaling up to meet market demand; and greater focus on function over style. Read on for more examples of how this trend is taking hold and what it could mean for tomorrow’s workplace.