Driving the Economic Growth Engine

Low unemployment in advanced economies is creating positive change.

By The Editors

To explore international labor markets, companies must first consult global labor market data. PeopleScout, a global provider of RPO, MSP, and total workforce solutions, has partnered with HRO Today magazine to produce quarterly reports that compile current international labor market figures, including measures like national gross domestic product (GDP) and unemployment rates over time, from countries across the globe. This data reveals critical information about the state of the talent pool, working conditions, and recruitment needs of various countries and regions. It is an essential tool for predicting fruitful locations for expansion and recruitment, thereby allowing multinational companies to stay competitive in talent acquisition.

According to the World Bank’s June 2017 Global Economic Prospects report, global economic growth in 2017 is projected to accelerate to 2.7 percent, up from 2.4 percent in 2016. Activity in advanced economies driven by economic growth in the United States is expected to gain momentum in 2017, accelerating to 1.9 percent before moderating gradually in 2018 and 2019. In Europe and Japan, strengthening domestic demand and exports have led to improved 2017 growth forecasts. Growth in emerging markets and developing economies is projected to reach 4.1 percent in 2017 and 4.5 percent in 2018.

The full report, available here, contains statistics taken from Which Countries Are Best at English as a Second Language? by the World Economic Forum, November 2017. Some highlights:

North America

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, third quarter 2017 GDP grew at 3 percent in the United States, similar to the second quarter. The increase in real GDP results from increases in consumer spending, inventory investment, business investment, and exports on both goods and services. A notable offset to these increases was a decrease in housing investment. Imports, which are a subtraction from GDP, decreased reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In September, the U.S. unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent in June. The unemployment rate has remained below 5.0 percent since January 2016, suggesting stability in the American job market and conditions considered by many economists to be “fully employed.”

Despite a third quarter slowdown, Canada’s economy remains on track to grow about 3 percent in 2017. According to the Monthly Economic Monitor from National Bank of Canada, consumption spending has been the major driver of growth this year benefiting from the convergence of favorable developments, including the best labor market in years, low interest rates, and the wealth effects associated with surging home prices in parts of the nation.

Asia Pacific

The economy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN), which is comprised of 10 countries in Southeast Asia, has been growing steadily with regional annual GDP growth increasing from 5.0 percent in the second quarter to 5.3 percent in the third quarter. The result marks the fastest growth rate since the first quarter of 2013, according to FocusEconomics. Estimates on Indonesia, the fourth largest economy in the region, revealed slower-than-expected growth in the third quarter, with GDP growth for the quarter flat at 5.1 percent.

The Chinese GDP expanded 6.8 percent in the third quarter, just a notch below the 6.9 percent increase reported in the first half of the year, and remains well positioned to achieve 2017’s 6.5 percent growth target. The Chinese GDP is reported at Intl $21,269 billion annually, more than twice the next largest economy in the region, India, which reported a GDP of Intl $8,721 billion annually. China’s published unemployment rate remains consistent with last quarter at 3.95 percent.

Japan, the third largest economy in Asia-Pacific, maintained a low unemployment rate of 2.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the second quarter and better than the year ago level of 3 percent. The Japanese economy expanded for the seventh consecutive quarter in Q3, the longest period of growth in more than a decade. The GDP rose 1.4 percent in the third quarter over the second quarter, according to FocusEconomics.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Unemployment in the EMEA region fell for nine of the 10 largest economies, with only Saudi Arabia reporting an uptick. The German economy is the largest in the EMEA region with a GDP of Intl $3,980 billion. Unemployment in Germany declined 0.3 percent to 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

The United Kingdom is the third largest economy in EMEA. Unemployment in the third quarter fell to 4.3 percent, down from 4.6 percent in the second quarter. According to the Office for National Statistics, the U.K. economy grew by just 0.4 percent in the third quarter of 2017, following a 0.3 percent expansion in the second quarter of 2017. The Guardian reports Italy, France, and Germany are also expected to grow faster than the U.K. next year, as Brexit uncertainties continue to weigh on consumer confidence and deter business investment.

France is the fourth largest economy in the EMEA region, but it maintains a high unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, just a bit better than the second quarter rate of 9.6 percent. However, the rate declined by 0.5 percent since last year -an encouraging sign. The French economy grew by 0.5 percent during the third quarter of 2017, following a 0.6 percent expansion in the second quarter. It was the fifth straight quarter of growth, reports Trading Economies.

Latin America

Preliminary data from FocusEconomics suggests that the Latin American economy continues to grow steadily and economnic recovery remains firmly underway. The regional GDP expanded 1.6 percent in the third quarter, above the second quarter’s 1.1 percent increase. If confirmed, the result would mark the fastest growth rate since the first quarter in 2014.

However, Mexico, the second largest economy in the region, defied the regional trend, despite a low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Preliminary estimates reveal that high inflation and disruptions from two earthquakes in September decreased economic growth; however, robust external demand and healthy tourism revenues mediated some of this effect, finds FocusEconomics.

Tags: APAC, December-2017, EMEA, Globalization, Magazine Article, Research Report, Talent Acquisition

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