GLOBILITY® - 19 December 2016 

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EMEA

HR Directors Have a War on to Keep and Manage Talent
The war for talent in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is prompting HR directors to boost their capabilities to source, hire and retain staff for a sustainable workforce. Accounting, finance and technology recruitment agency Robert Half interviewed 75 Emirates-based HR directors: 40 percent say the top challenge is the war for talent, closely followed by talent management at 39 percent. Nearly four in 10 also said the trend for a mobile workplace had arrived in the UAE, while one third said another high-impact trend was the growth of multiple generations in the workplace. "HR directors are adapting their recruitment methods to keep up with the future workplace," says Gareth El Mettouri, an associate director at Robert Half UAE. He also noted that companies are investing much more in learning and development and compensation and benefits to hold on to their staff. "It’s better to keep your workforce and progress individuals through the ranks, instead of having to go back out and re-recruit every two to three years," he says. "Candidates want to see a mapped-out progression." Partial funding of executive MBA programs and professional certificates such as accountancy qualifications is becoming more common in the UAE, he says. Read the full UAE talent management story.  

Brexit, Trump and Italy Cloud Outlook for German Economy: Economy Ministry
Germany’s Economy Ministry points to Brexit, uncertain U.S. policy and political shakiness in Italy as key risks facing the German economy. But despite those risks, the global economic environment appears brighter, especially as emerging markets like Brazil and Russia are expected to exit recessions, which will benefit German exports. Growth in Europe's largest economy is expected to pick up in the fourth quarter after a slowdown in the July-September period, and a robust labor market is continuing to sustain private consumption, which has been propping up the economy as exports wane. See how risks and growth are shaping Germany’s prospects.

APAC

China's Workforce to Decrease 212 Million by 2050
Over the next 35 years, China's working population is set to decrease by about 212 million: that’s a number equivalent to the current population of Brazil, and the greatest decrease in workforce population is expected to fall between 2015 and 2025. The information corroborates a chart released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in May, which projected a 60 million decline in China's total population and a 212 million decline in its working population by 2050. The problem, which is expected to see China's population peak by 2029, has been exacerbated by several issues, including the country's one-child policy. Many experts have claimed that China's relaxation of the controversial measures, and subsequent introduction of a two-child policy, would likely only delay peak population by two years. Explore what's behind China's decreasing workforce.

The Salary Increments Staff in 14 APAC Countries Can Expect in 2017
According to research on nominal wage growth by Mercer, a majority of the Asia Pacific’s emerging economies are forecasting higher salary increase percentages for 2017 than 2016, with projected rises particularly bullish in India (10.8 percent) and Vietnam (9.2 percent). Financial hubs Hong Kong and Singapore are forecast to see a 4.2 percent and 4.1 percent increase, respectively. Japan is forecasted to receive the lowest increase of 2.2 percent, followed by New Zealand (2.8 percent) and Australia (2.9 percent). Real wage growth (salary increase minus inflation rate) has also been steadily rising in the region, given that inflation is at its lowest for most countries. The strongest push in forecasts is likely to come from the life science and chemical sectors. Read more about salaries in APAC countries. 

China’s Depreciating Yuan Has Some Expats Worried About Their Pay, Savings and Investments
The depreciation of the yuan against the U.S. dollar has made some expats’ salaries less competitive than when they committed to their employers. According to a Xinhua News Agency report in November, the yuan continued to depreciate against the U.S. dollar to hit its weakest point at 6.92 on November 25, the lowest it has been since June 2008. On December 15, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the first and only time in 2016, indicating a faster rate hike pace next year, according to another Xinhua report in December. Experts say in the report that an expected strengthening of the dollar will add pressure on the yuan's further depreciation. At the same time, he also noted that yuan liberalization could be further promoted, which would help attract more foreign talents. The Chinese yuan was added to the International Monetary Fund reserve basket on October 1, and this move likely means that the yuan is getting closer to internationalization. In the meantime, foreigners working in China may have to find a way to adjust. Understand more about how the depreciating yuan affects expats.

AMERICAS 

Shortage of Skilled Labor Costing B.C. Billions in Lost GDP and Taxes
The Conference Board of Canada has released findings from a recent report, revealing that lost productivity from the shortage of educated and skilled workers in British Columbia (B.C.) nearly doubled in 2016 and is now costing the economy $7.9 billion in lost GDP and $1.8 billion in tax revenues.   The statistics, contained in the report "Post-Secondary Education Skills for a Prosperous British Columbia — 2016," are worrying B.C.’s university and college administrators, who say the shortage of skilled labor will handicap employers, leaving them without the human capital to innovate. “B.C.’s future rests on its ability to develop well-educated, skilled and adaptable citizens,” University of Victoria president and chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia Jamie Cassels said in a statement. “Our post-secondary system is among the best in the world, allowing students to choose their own pathways to personal and career success. And in the coming years it must be even further positioned to provide the skilled workers who will fuel B.C.’s social and economic prosperity.” Find out more about the need for British Columbia to develop human capital through education.

Brazil’s Government Announces New Stimulus Plan
Last week, Brazil’s President Michel Temer announced a set of ten measures that the government hopes will stimulate the economy, generate jobs and reverse the country’s worst recession in decades. A few elements of the plan include new credit lines for small businesses, less bureaucratization for exports and imports and debt payment assistance for companies and individuals.  Some critics say the measures are too insignificant and that the government timing is merely a diversion to the political turmoil affecting the current administration. Learn about Brazil’s stimulus plan.

Where the Jobs Will (And Won't) Be In 2017
A recent study from human resources consulting firm ManpowerGroup shows which U.S. cities and states are home to employers looking to hire more people in the first quarter of 2017. More than 11,000 employers in the United States are surveyed for this employment outlook that shows hiring probability in various cities and states. States with the highest hiring potential include California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Oklahoma and Oregon; those with the lowest probability include Montana, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Overall, in the first quarter of 2017, ManpowerGroup found that employers in the U.S. are looking at a 16 percent net increase in employment. This time last year, that figure was 17 percent, and in the end of 2016 was clocked at 18 percent. So, no dramatic shifts. Discover more details about ManpowerGroup's jobs research.

General Interest

The Rise of the Digital Nomad
Last year a Guardian report quoted a study which found that a quarter of British workers hate their jobs; half admitted they dreaded the week ahead on Sunday night, and seven in ten admitted watching the clock until the end of the day. Forbes published a similar study that said two million Americans quit their jobs voluntarily every month, and most said they would like to set up their own business, citing financial independence, better work/life balance and flexible working hours as the main advantages of being self-employed. Even as the gig economy grows, so does a trend toward a community of “digital nomads,” - “location-independent workers” who trade on wi-fi, flexible work spaces and web-based work to travel and live wherever they choose. Increased living costs in cities are contributing to the phenomenon, too. Read on about digital nomads.