Q4 2017

Global Talent Market Quarterly

Heading into 2018, the global economy is in good shape. Major emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil are climbing out of recession, growth prospects are positive in Europe and North America, and the powerhouse economies in Asia continue to drive global growth. Global GDP growth is projected at 3.2% for 2018, its highest rate in seven years, and although recession risk is low, there are some geopolitical threats (e.g. Brexit, elections, monetary policymaking) that bear watching. Buoyed by the favorable economic environment, the global employment outlook is likewise encouraging.

Greater demand is leading to growing skills shortages but, surprisingly, the positive economic and labor market climate is not necessarily translating into higher wage levels in many markets. As the global economy strengthens and labor markets continue to tighten, experts continue to be baffled by sluggishness in both wage and inflation growth across many countries.

As the world of work changes, the employer-employee relationship is also shifting. The best talent is seeking greater control over integrating their work with their personal lives and passions. As a result, the gig economy is thriving, and the majority of global talent managers across geographies and sectors are now leveraging gig workers and free agents in their teams to drive cost savings, innovation, and competitive advantage. Research from Kelly Services shows that firms that take a proactive and forward-thinking approach to the gig workforce can achieve significantly higher outcomes.

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