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British Businesses are Underestimating the Lure of Flexible WorkingGet Real About Innovation to Grow the Economy, SA is Told
South Africa’s low growth environment needs innovation. Investment in innovation within new industries such as ICT‚ biotechnologies and clean technologies is central to a turnaround‚ offering great opportunities for growth‚ but with a few exceptions‚ South Africa is lagging far behind in these fields. So says a recent World Bank report, “The South Africa Economic Update,” which proposes five key interventions: foster a business climate conducive to innovation; nurture innovation ecosystems in cities; build the skills base by solving labor shortages in high-skilled sectors; improve ICT (information and communications) infrastructure; and enhance the effectiveness of public programs and incentives for innovation. Find out more about South Africa’s need for innovation.
Almost 90 percent of UK employees would welcome flexible work options, says a recent survey by Timewise and EY. The research notes that, in a changing environment that includes part-time, home-based or remote jobs, companies are misjudging the value of flexible work options. The survey noted that almost nine out of 10 full-time staff work flexibly or would like to do so, while one in four would prefer to work part-time. There was a strong preference for non-traditional working patterns among both male (84 percent) and female (91 percent) full-time workers. Learn more about flexible work in the UK.
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Japan's Female Labor Force Set to Toss Out M-curve
It’s called the “M-curve” – that’s what the graphic depicting Japan's female labor force participation rate by age looks like. The angles demonstrate the points at which women in their 30s and 40s leave the labor force, and then re-join. In comparison, similar charts in the U.S. and Europe, show that high percentages of women work through their 30s. Recently, though, the "M" has softened: an historic structural change. A July survey from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications notes the female labor force participation rate stood at 69.7 percent, a welcome shift for Japan, whose graying, shrinking population and low birthrate are a concern for its future workforce. Understand more about Japan’s female labor force.
Australian Jobs Growth Surges in August
Australia’s most recent jobs report was a happy surprise, with news of 54,200 new jobs in August coming in well above market expectations. The country’s job market has been a bright spot for much of this year, with full-time job creation accelerating hiring, even though underemployment and flat wage growth is deflating consumer confidence. The number of full-time workers rose 40,100, while those in part-time work rose 14,100. The Reserve Bank of Australia notes that Australia ranks only behind Switzerland and the Netherlands as having the highest proportion of workers employed part-time. Read on about Australia’s strong jobs uptrend.
Government Affairs Community Update
Worldwide ERC®’s latest Government Affairs Community Update reports on tax reform, the release of the Moving Expense Economic Analysis paper, Congress’ temporary spending bill, disaster relief options, the allowance of extended family under the travel suspension, and the UK parliament vote on the Brexit bill, along with mobility industry impact statements. Click here to find the September 11 issue and other recent Government Affairs Community Updates.
Panama, Chile And Argentina Leading Way in Latin America To Close Workforce Gender Gap
Panama is the latest country committing to action, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to increase the number of women entering and progressing in its labor market. A new Gender Parity Task Force is being established and will be led by senior government and business leaders in the country. “Gender parity is not just about equality: it also yields a growth dividend. If Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region achieved parity in labor force participation of men and women, our GDP could increase by 16 percent,” said Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC. “Working with the Forum, we are helping LAC countries establish gender parity task forces to boost female participation in the labor force, reduce gender wage gaps and increase female representation in management and professional positions.” Panama is the third country in Latin America to launch this public-private collaboration model in partnership with the IDB and supported by the World Economic Forum’s platform. Chile was the first country to apply the approach, followed by Argentina. Read about Panama’s work to close the workforce gender gap.
Global Leaders See Globalization as Challenged, Not Failing
Globalization faces challenges, from Britain’s planned exit from the European Union to an “America First” policy agenda under the Trump administration. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, business and political leaders around the world met to urge cooperation on such issues as trade, investment and international technology to help boost globalization. For more reflections from the UN General Assembly, read on.