Q3 2018

Global Talent Market Quarterly

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Although the world’s economy remains healthy, a gradual slowdown in global economic growth is expected, with GDP projected to expand by 3.1% in 2019 after 3.2% growth in 2018. GDP growth is seen to be peaking in the US and Europe, and labor markets remain tight, with trade concerns both Brexit- and US/China-related among the key issues. Significant and spreading financial pressures in several emerging markets, including currency devaluation, rising debt levels and higher inflation, also present a growing downside risk.

Data suggests that there is an inverse relationship between working hours and productivity: countries including Mexico and South Korea that are among the hardest-working are at the low end of the productivity spectrum, while nations with shorter workweeks such as France and Germany exhibit greater productivity. Some countries are looking at reducing their working hours in an effort to increase not only productivity but also improve social conditions.

In an era of prolonged labor market tightness and the growing ability of automation and AI to perform low-level tasks, finding workers with the right set of skills is a significant and growing challenge. As a result, upskilling and reskilling talent has become a hot button issue. Recent research has found that many companies are already taking steps to upgrade the skills of their workforces, but a large number are not confident in their ability to reskill workers for new roles.

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