According to the security firm Check Point, a malware called "Agent Smith" has infected a number of apps on 9Apps, an app store that’s popular in Asia. The malware has infected over 25 million Android devices, although it was unsuccessful on the Google Play Store because Google removed all infected apps.
AI/automation will replace 1 in 5 jobs across the globe within five years, according to a survey of Chief Information Officers from Harvey Nash and KPMG. The prediction comes as IT departments are being tasked by executive boards to use AI/automation to improve efficiencies. However, the majority, or 69%, of CIOs believe that new jobs will compensate for job losses to AI/automation.
The economy – Canada
The Government of Canada is trying to aid in the modernization of the agriculture industry in Canada, as it announced a $49.5 million investment into the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN).
Total employment in Canada fell by 2,200 jobs in June from May to a total of approximately 19.1 million, according to seasonally adjusted data from Statistics Canada. However, the losses were all in part-time jobs which fell by 26,200. The number of full-time jobs rose by 24,100. In addition, the total number of jobs was up by 2.3%, or 421,100, year over year. The unemployment rate in June edged up to 5.5% from 5.4% in May.
The number of jobs in Canada rose by 30,400 in June from May, according to the "ADP Canada National Employment Report." That compares to a month-over-month decline of 36,700 jobs in May. "June experienced higher acceleration in job growth following a sharp decline in May," said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "Construction delivered the biggest contribution to the increase, along with professional/business services which reflects the increasing demand for high-skilled workers." In the service-providing sector, "professional/business services" led the way by adding 8,800 jobs. "Trade/transportation and utilities" added 7,000 jobs. Information added 3,400 jobs while "finance/real estate" lost 2,000 jobs.
The economy – USA
Real gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter, which is below the first quarter’s rate of 3.1%, but better than expected, according to The Conference Board.
The International Monetary Fund predicted the US economy will grow more rapidly than initially thought at 2.6% this year, The Washington Post reported. It previously forecast 2.3% growth. In issuing its new guidance, the organization cited a better-than-expected start to the year and signals from the Federal Reserve that it will lower interest rates.
Labor markets remained tight across the US, and employee compensation grew at a "modest-to-moderate" pace, according to the Federal Reserve Beige Book report. The Atlanta Federal Reserve noted some employers are loosening standards in order to hire and retain workers. The report, which looks at overall economic activity in the US, reported worker shortages were especially pronounced in construction, IT and healthcare.
For the first time since December, The Conference Board reported its US Leading Economic Index fell in June, portending slow growth for the second half of this year. June’s index reading fell 0.3% to 111.5 (2016=100) following no change in May and a 0.1% increase in April.
IT employment ticked up 0.02% in June from May to more than 5.3 million US jobs, but growth remains subdued, according to data released by the TechServe Alliance, the national trade association for the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry. Year-over-year, the number of IT jobs in the US rose by just 0.07%. US engineering employment rose 0.28% to nearly 2.7 million in June. It was up 2.24% year-over-year.
US revenue in the gig economy totaled $1.3 trillion in 2018 and it included 53 million workers, according to a recent report by Staffing Industry Analysts titled "The US Gig Economy." Its results are based on an SIA survey as well as data from the US Census Bureau, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and other research.
Consumer confidence in the US rebounded in July to its highest level this year, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. It now stands at a reading of 135.7 (1985=100), up from a reading of 124.3 in June.
Of IT decision-makers polled by Robert Half Technology, 67% plan to hire full-time employees in the second half of the year, up four points from a similar survey for the first half. In addition, 95% said they plan to bring in project professionals. However, finding employees with the right skills remains tough; 89% said it’s difficult to find skilled IT professionals.
CEOs remain moderately pessimistic in the second quarter, according to The Conference Board’s Measure of CEO Confidence. Its level for the second quarter was 43, unchanged from the first; readings above 50 indicate more positive than negative responses.
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index fell in June, but the organization cautioned the decline is likely the result of "noise." Job growth is expected to remain strong. June’s decline was driven primarily by one component of the index — an increase in the percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get" in The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey. The index level now stands at a reading of 109.51, down from the previous reading of 111.22 from data in May.
The US labor market remains strong with the private sector adding 156,000 jobs this month, but it shows signs of flagging, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the slowdown. Small businesses added 11,000 jobs this month while midsize and large firms both added much more. Midsize firm increased employment by 67,000 while large companies raised the number of jobs by 78,000.
Nonmanufacturing activity decelerated in June to its lowest level since July 2017, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Nonmanufacturing Index. The index was at a reading of 55.1, down from 56.9 in May. However, readings above 50 still indicate growth.
The US economic expansion at the start of this month is now the longest period of economic growth in US history at 121 months, CBS News reported. However, the pace of growth in this recover has been relatively slow. Previously, the longest expansion was 120 months, which ended in the dot-com crash in 2001, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The economy – outside North America
E-commerce giant Amazon will create 2,000 new jobs in the UK this year, bringing its total UK workforce to 29,500. Amazon said the new positions would include engineers, software developers, data scientists and experts in cloud and machine learning, along with a number of entry-level roles. Of those created, more than 170 roles will be based in Amazon’s tech development centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London.
The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.5% in May 2019, down from 8.3% in May 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since July 2008 according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. At the same time, the EU28 unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in May 2019, down from 6.9% in May 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000.
Total employment in Singapore continued to grow, but at a slower pace compared to a year ago, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Advance Release for the second quarter. The Ministry’s data, which excluded foreign domestic workers, showed that total employment in Q2 grew by 4,000 in Q2 2019, lower than a year ago (6,500) and down from the previous quarter (10,700). Singapore’s seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate was unchanged in June 2019 (2.2%) when compared to the previous quarter.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong stood at 2.8% for the period from April to June 2019, same as that of the previous period from March to May 2019, according to figures from the Census and Statistics Department.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia fell by 0.1% to 5.2% in June 2019 when compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
China’s Ministry of Public Security is to relax its immigration rules, opening the door to more highly skilled overseas workers and allowing a greater number of foreigners the opportunity to become permanent residents, reports the South China Morning Post. The Ministry added that the rule changes, which will take effect from August 2019, will also allow top talents from overseas to apply for long-term visas and make it easier for budding overseas entrepreneurs to start a business in China.
China’s job market saw improvement in the second quarter of 2019, with more posted vacancies than jobseekers, according to a report from Zhaopin Limited and the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) at Renmin University of China. After falling to a five-year low of 1.68 in the first quarter, the number of jobs available for every applicant increased to 1.89 in the second quarter due to faster growth of seasonal hiring. However, this was up slightly from 1.88 the year before. China published employment data, which showed that the jobs market remained stable in June with the unemployment rate in urban areas standing at 5.1%.
The employment rate for the OECD area (Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development) rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2019 to 68.7% when compared to the same period last year. When compared to the previous quarter, the employment rate increased by 0.1% in Q1 2019. The quarter-on-quarter growth was driven entirely by an increase in the female employment rate (up 0.2%).
Malaysia‘s jobless rate stood at 3.3% in May 2019, steady when compared to May 2018, according to data published on Friday by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Japan‘s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.3% in June, down 0.1% when compared to the same period last year, according to data from Statistics Japan. According to Kyodo News, the unemployment rate was helped by women’s ‘aggressive job market participation’. The women’s unemployment rate stood at 2.0% in June, the lowest level since February 1991. The men’s unemployment rate stood at 2.6%.
Vacancies across the city of London increased by 23% year-on-year, according to new data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), based on research undertaken by Vacancysoft. While job openings in banking remain flat due to a number of financial services firms relocating outside of London, other sectors are booming. The technology sector is the largest and fastest growing, recording a 44% increase in hiring activity year-on-year. At the same time, demand for IT professionals increased by 25% year-on-year, forming 37% of all advertised positions.
Swiss candidates’ overall confidence about their ability to find a new job within three months grew by 13% between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019, according to the PageGroup Job Confidence Index.
South Africa’s jobless rate reached 29.0% in the second quarter ended June 2019, the highest since 2003, according to data from Statistics South Africa. When compared to the previous year, the rate increased by 1.8% and when compared to the previous quarter, the unemployment rate rose by 1.4%.