GLOBILITY® - 18 October 2016 

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EMEA 

Brexit Has Led to a Rise in UK-based Workers Looking for Jobs in Ireland

Recruitment site Indeed reports a 20 percent rise in searches for work in Ireland in the 100 days since the referendum result: nearly three times the average increase for the rest of the EU. Their findings show the post-Brexit rise in people seeking jobs outside the UK is both sustained and increasing. One of the consequences of the Brexit vote has been to make Ireland a more popular destination for jobseekers located in other EU countries, says Indeed, and reports that the job segments searched most often are in finance, software engineering, marketing, IT, engineering and hospitality. In addition to increases in job searches in Ireland, there were upsurges in British searches for jobs in Australia (13 percent), Canada (10 percent) and Germany (9 percent). See more information about UK-based job seekers exploring employment in Ireland.

Skills Gap Strands South Africa Business as Jobs Go Unfilled
A dearth of suitably qualified and experienced staff has left South African businesses struggling to fill thousands of posts, even though more than a quarter of the workforce is unemployed. While South Africa was found to be the 47th-best place to do business out of 138 countries ranked in the World Economic Forum’s 2016-17 Global Competitiveness report, its health and primary education system was ranked 123rd, and its tertiary education system 77th. Business executives canvassed by the Geneva-based forum rated South Africa’s inadequately educated workforce as the third-most problematic factor for doing business in South Africa, after government bureaucracy and restrictive labor regulations. Click through for more about South Africa's skills shortage.
 


 

  

 

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APAC

Skill Shortage Looms for Asia’s Emerging Economies
A new report has ranked 12 economies in Asia on a scale of 1 to 7 to indicate the level of skills challenges they face. The report, “Deciphering Labour and Skill Shortages in Asia with Workforce Analytics,” was published by the Workforce Analytics Institute (WAI), a partnership between The Conference Board and Mercer. The report looked at factors such as country demographics, labor supply, and compensation in both advanced and emerging markets across the region; noting that Malaysia ranks highest among the emerging economies, with a 5, while Singapore and Hong Kong top the overall list with a 6.2 and 5.6 respectively. According to the report, skilled labor is in high demand across Asia, but workforce preparedness varies widely across the region. The report considers the proportion of educated individuals within an economy to be a way to understand skill preparedness. In a number of countries in the region, the share of the population who are educated beyond secondary level is below 8 percent. Those economies “have a distance to go before their workforce is fully equipped to work in an international environment,” the report states. Read more about skills shortage challenges in emerging Asian economies.

China Implements New Unified Work Permit Pilot Scheme
On September 9, 2016, China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs’ (SAFEA) announced that the existing Foreign Expert Permit and Alien Employment License will be merged into a single permit. The new permit introduces a tiered classification system for foreign workers, as well as a streamlined online application and tracking system to attract more high-level foreign talent. Before the new foreign work permit rolls out nationwide on April 1, 2017, the government began implementing a pilot scheme in select regions starting on October 1. Foreign workers in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Anhui, Guangdong, Hebei, Shandong, Sichuan, Ningxia, and potentially other regions will be included in the pilot program. Read more about China’s unified work permit pilot program.

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AMERICAS  

USCIS Issues High Number of ‘Requests for Evidence’ for L-1A and L-1B Visas
According to a report submitted to the U.S. Congress by Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Maria Odom, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing a high number of requests for evidence (RFEs), especially for L-1A and L-1B visas. The CIS report states that “USCIS continues to frustrate employers with a series of processing delays.” The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which enables companies operating outside the US to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to a new or existing U.S. branch of the business. The L-1A category is applicable to managers and executives and allows entry for up to seven years, while the L-1B category covers specialized knowledge staff and allows entry for up to five years. Find out why RFEs are higher than normal.

Increased Immigration Urged to Support Economic Growth Amid Aging Population
Today, Canadians 65 and over account for 16 percent of the total population, but the ratio is expected to rise to 24 percent in the next two decades, according to a recently released report by the Conference Board of Canada. Researchers considered the country’s birth rate - around 1.55 children per woman - and a longer life expectancy to develop scenarios of population targets and their impact on workforce growth, as well as government expenditures for health care and old age security benefits. The report warned that the aging of Canada’s population will have a significant impact on Canada’s potential economic growth; and noted that higher immigration can both increase the growth of Canada’s labor force over the long term and generate higher economic growth. See more information about Canada and the case for increased immigration.

General Interest

‘Job Stealing’ Robots are an Economic Distraction 
Few economic themes capture the attention of the media, politicians, and the public as strongly as the worry that automation threatens employment. The concern is easy to understand: robots are now ubiquitous within manufacturing, a sector that has lost 5 million workers since 2000. Some occupations, like travel agents, have all but disappeared due to automation and the internet. Conversely, technology can lead to jobs by creating new industries (think Airbnb and Uber) and bolstering firm competitiveness, and it can lead to wage growth by reducing prices, which raises purchasing power. One example: the deployment of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the 1990s actually led to an increase in the number of bank tellers because, with the cost of operating branches reduced, banks opened new ones. But though automation also generates jobs, it’s harder to identify the occupations that have been created or sustained because of automation, than to identify the occupations that might be threatened. Click through to the full article for more information.

McKinsey Study: Gig-Economy Workforce Is Bigger Than Official Data Shows in U.S., Europe
A recent McKinsey Global Institute study revealed that the number of independent workers is being undercounted by governments in the U.S. and Europe. McKinsey surveyed more than 8,000 respondents for the study, and says that previous inaccuracies are contributing to glaring gaps in labor market policy. The study found that 20-30 percent of the labor force in both the U.S. and the EU-15 is now made up of independent workers who are self-employed or do temporary work. (At present, the EU-15 includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.) While the percentage of independent workers in the U.S. is 27 percent by McKinsey’s estimate, it was 22 percent according to government data and other published surveys analyzed by the Institute. In Europe, the gulf between official data and McKinsey’s was also large. For instance, in Spain, McKinsey’s analysis of official data showed the percentage of independent earners to be 15 percent of the population, compared to 25 percent in McKinsey’s survey. And in the UK, where the percentage of independent workers is 14 percent according to official data, the McKinsey survey tallied it as 26 percent. Find more information about the undercounting of the gig economy in the U.S. and EU-15.