The economy — Canada
The Canadian Staffing Index reflects the volume of labour supplied by staffing companies to their clients in Canada, based on hours worked. In the last 12 months, the highest reading has been 120, and the lowest reading 89. The December reading of 99 reflected reduced hours worked because of how statutory holidays fell during the month and is still significantly higher than last December’s reading of 90.
The number of jobs in Canada rose by 46,200 in December from November, according to the ADP Canada National Employment Report. Trade/transportation and utilities added 8,200 jobs, but manufacturing shed 1,400 positions and finance/real estate had 4,500 fewer jobs.
Employment in Canada rose by 0.2% month-over-month, or 35,200 jobs, in December for total employment of approximately 19.1 million, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released Statistics Canada. Gains were concentrated in the private sector, which added 56,900 jobs. That gain was offset by a loss of 21,500 jobs in the public sector. In addition, the number of self-employed workers fell by some 200 people.
The economy — USA
Nonmanufacturing business activity in the US expanded in December at a faster rate than in November, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index. The index rose to a reading of 55.0% in December from 53.9% in November. The December reading was the highest since August. Readings above 50% indicate expansion.
The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index for December fell to its lowest reading since June 2009. The PMI fell to a level of 47.2%, down from 48.1% in November. In comparison, the June 2009 reading was 46.3%. December also marked the fifth consecutive month the index showed contraction, and the rate of contraction in December was greater than that in November.
Optimism about the job market boosted consumer confidence in January, according to The Conference Board. Its US Consumer Confidence Index released today rose to a level of 131.6 in January from 128.2 in December.
The economy is looking a bit brighter and finding unskilled labour has become tougher, according to the National Association for Business Economics’ Business Conditions Survey. Reports of unskilled labour shortages jumped to 18% of respondents in today’s report from 11% in October’s report. Although, reports of skilled labor shortages remained unchanged at 43%. "Respondents to the January 2020 NABE Business Conditions Survey are more bullish about economic growth over the coming 12 months than they were in October," said NABE President Constance Hunter.
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for the US edged down 0.3% in December to a reading of 111.2. The index has declined in four out of five of the last months. "However, financial conditions and consumers’ outlook for the economy remain positive, which should support growth of about 2% through early 2020," he said.
The number of job openings in the US fell by 561,000 in November; it was the biggest decrease since August 2015, according to seasonally adjusted data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the US economy expanded modestly in the final six weeks of 2019, labour markets remained tight with labor shortages constraining growth in some areas, according to the Federal Reserve Beige Book report.
US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter, according to the "advance" estimate of GDP growth by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP also increased 2.1% in the third quarter, but the drivers differed. Today’s fourth-quarter GDP estimate was in line with the consensus forecast and just below The Conference Board’s forecast of 2.2%.
IT employment in the US fell year-over-year in December, according to the TechServe Alliance, a trade association of the IT and engineering staffing solutions industry. And fears are 2020 won’t see significant growth in IT jobs. The US will likely fall well short of meeting demand for IT workers from US businesses given the increasingly restrictive immigration policies and an insufficient supply of domestic talent.
Separately, the TechServe Alliance also reported engineering employment rose by 0.07% on a month-over-month basis in December to nearly 2.7 million jobs. The increase was 1.63% on a year-over-year basis.
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index fell in December, but still indicates a labor market expansion. Overall, the index has been on a flat trend since the summer of 2018 and consistent with ongoing labor market expansion.
The US added 202,000 nonfarm, private-sector jobs in December from November, according the ADP National Employment Report. This is the largest gain since April 2019, which saw a gain of 255,000 jobs. The gain exceeded forecasts from economists surveyed by Econoday who expected a gain of 157,000, MarketWatch reported.
The economy — Outside North America
The International Monetary Fund sees the world economy accelerating to 3.3% in this year from 2.9% last year. However, the report also cautioned the global economy faces risks such as a re-escalation of trade tensions, and many countries aren’t benefiting from the upswing in growth.
The unemployment rate in the 28-country European Union in November remained at its lowest level since tracking began in January 2000, according seasonally adjusted data from Eurostat. November’s unemployment rate was 6.3%, holding steady from October.
The unemployment rate for countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development remained stable at 5.1% in November 2019 when compared to the previous month. Across the OECD area, 33 million people were unemployed.
Almost half a billion people are working fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work, according to a new International Labour Organisation report. The report also showed that unemployment is projected to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020.
Employers’ confidence in the UK economy rose 2% in the fourth quarter when compared to the previous rolling quarter. At the same time, their confidence in making hiring and investment decisions also improved, rising by 4%, according to the latest JobsOutlook report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
The number of jobs available in London decreased by 42% in the fourth quarter of 2019 when compared to a year ago, according to the London Employment Monitor report by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley. At the same time there was a 31% decrease in professionals seeking jobs.
Salaries in the UK’s technology industry surged in 2019 with a 13.8% hike in jobs posted and a 4.7% increase in the average salary, according to a report from Reed Specialist Recruitment. Reed’s report, which analysed 7.5 million jobs posted since the start of 2016, showed the new data protection rules and the rising threat of cyber crime in particular has seen demand for some roles soar, which is pushing up salaries.
The number of people employed in Germany in 2019 was the highest since the German reunification in 1991, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office. However, the rate of employment growth slowed in the past year. The increase in 2019 represented an additional 402,000 people in employment to a total of 45.3 million people in employment during the year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia stood at 5.1% in December 2019, an increase of 0.1% when compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Science, technology, engineering, mathematics -related job roles in India have risen by 44% between November 2016 and November 2019, reports Business Today, citing data from Indeed. The data also showed a 5% improvement for STEM-related job roles during the period between November 2018 to November 2019.
Private sector firms in India are likely to create 700,000 jobs in 2020 amid bullish hiring sentiment and optimistic hiring plans, according to an Employment Trend Survey published by MyHiringClub & Sarkari-Naukri.
The increase in employment rate of Singapore citizens over the last decade (from 60.0% in June 2009 to 63.6% in June 2019) was driven most consistently by those aged 65 & over, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower. This increase in the employment rate reflected efforts to raise the employability of older workers. Meanwhile, the Singapore citizen unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) has been broadly stable, averaging 3.1% from 2010 to 2019 (June periods).
The majority, or 68%, of Singapore business leaders think technology will create more permanent jobs on their teams throughout 2020, according to research from Robert Half International Inc.
The jobless rate in Malaysia fell to 3.2% in November 2019 from 3.3% in November 2018, according to Statistics Malaysia. Data also showed that the number of unemployed persons in November 2019 stood at 513,900, down 0.4% against November 2018.
13.5 million new urban jobs were created in China last year, higher than the target of 11 million. The registered urban unemployment rate stood at 3.62% at the end of 2019, well below the government’s annual target of 4.5%.
The unemployment rate in the Philippines stood at 5.1% in 2019, down from 5.3% in 2018, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority’s preliminary results of its annual labour and employment estimates for 2019.