The price of security incidents in organizations in 11 countries jumped an average of 12% last year, if a new study is representative. According to the annual Accenture Cost of Cybercrime survey, the average cost of investigating and remediating breaches of security controls to the 355 organizations surveyed was US$13 million in 2018, compared to US$11.7 million in 2017.
IT security experts say they still come across business leaders in Canada who don’t believe their organization will be targeted for a cyber attack. A new report from security vendor Proofpoint should help dispel that. Looking at data from customer devices, the company found that between January 1st and May 1st, threat actors conducted thousands of malicious email campaigns, hundreds of which were sent to Canadian organizations. "Nearly 100 campaigns during this period were either specifically targeted at Canadian organizations or were customized for Canadian audiences," indicated the report, noting some were written in French.
Montreal has a $50 million more budget to put towards its smart city plan today. Infrastructure Canada announced the winners of its Smart Cities Challenge, a competition open to all Canadian municipalities, local or regional governments, and Indigenous communities (First Nations, Métis and Inuit). The Challenge had four key goals: to realize outcomes for residents, empower communities to innovate, forge new partnerships and networks, and then spread the benefit to all Canadians. The $5 million prize went to the Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia for its proposal to reduce energy poverty among its citizens by making energy services universally available, affordable, clean, efficient, and secure. Nunavut Communities received $10 million for its life promotion approach to suicide prevention in a region where suicides occur at ten times the national average. The City of Guelph and Wellington County also received $10 million for their proposal to create a Circular Food Economy.
Less than a month after China Unicom moved up its seven-city initial launch of 5G services to May, the Chinese government has decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding by officially launching 5G on a nationwide scale. The launch will coordinate three leading state-backed carriers to bring commercial 5G service to 40 Chinese cities.
The economy – Canada
Employment in Canada rose by approximately 106,500 (73,000 full-time and 33,600 part-time) in April from March, with notable gains in part-time work for youth, according to Statistics Canada. Total employment exceeded 19.0 million, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.7% from 5.8% in March.
Although temporary employees represent a relatively small portion of overall employees, they have been increasing at a faster pace than traditional employees during the past 20 years, according to research by Statistics Canada. Data from the Labour Force Survey found 13.3% of employees, or 2.1 million workers, held a temporary job last year, up from 11.8% in 1998.
Employment in Canada increased by 61,700 jobs in April compared to March, according to the Canada National Employment Report by ADP (NASDAQ: ADP). Areas adding the most jobs include the "education and healthcare" sector, which added 16,300 jobs, and construction, which added 10,300. In addition, "trade/transportation and utilities" added 10,200 jobs. Manufacturing added 8,200 jobs in April. It is interesting to see the difference from the Statistics Canada numbers.
The Canadian Staffing Index fell 4% to a reading of 103 in April from its year-ago reading, continuing a trend of modest decline in volume that has been seen since the autumn of last year. The index is released by the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services.
Statistics Canada reported that Canadian real GDP grew at an annual rate of 0.4% in the first quarter. The growth rate gave the country its weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015. However, the Royal Bank of Canada reported that a surge in GDP growth in March bolsters a forecast for a pickup in growth in the second quarter. In comparison, US real GDP grew 3.1% at an annualized rate in the first quarter.
The economy – US
Private-sector employment in the US rose by 275,000 in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report. This is a bigger increase than the 151,000 jobs added in March and the largest gain since the gain of 284,000 jobs in July 2018.
US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter, according to a second estimate by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. The previously released "advance estimate" reported growth of 3.2%, but in today’s announcement, the bureau reported the general picture of economic growth remains the same.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April at a slower pace than in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index for US manufacturing. April’s index reading registered 52.8, down from March’s reading of 55.3. Any reading above 50% generally indicates improving conditions.
A report by Staffing Industry Analysts, the "IT Staffing Growth Assessment: 2019 Update," expects the skills gap to go on for the foreseeable future. "We don’t anticipate the skills mismatch to abate in the near term," said Brian Wallins, senior research analyst at SIA and author of the report. "Shorter tech cycles are exacerbating the IT skills gap." It will likely take a material economic slowdown to bring supply and demand more into balance, Wallins said. Talent is now so tight big tech firms such as Alphabet and Apple have dropped the four-year degree requirement for IT positions, and companies are hiring individuals with little or no IT backgrounds, according to the report.
Economic activity in the US nonmanufacturing sector decelerated in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index. ISM’s nonmanufacturing index edged down to a reading of 55.5 in April from a reading of 56.1 in April. Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions.
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index is moving sideways, but the organization says the labor market will continue to tighten. April’s index level increased marginally to 110.79 compared to March, which had a downwardly revised reading of 110.73. Overall, the index is up 2.3% over the past 12 months.
A majority of companies reported difficulty filling open positions in the past six months, and about half are raising wages to attract workers, according to the "Spring 2019 Semiannual Economic Forecast" released today by the Institute for Supply Management. However, manufacturing firms are reporting slightly more difficulty finding workers than nonmanufacturing firms and are slightly more apt to raise wages to recruit new hires.
Economists raised their estimate for US job gains this year and in 2020, according to the first-quarter Survey of Professional Forecasters released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The projections for the annual average level of nonfarm payroll employment now suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 200,100 in 2019, up from the previous estimate of 191,800. The forecast now calls for new jobs added monthly in 2020 to fall to 142,300, up from the previous estimate of 123,200.
The outlook for GDP growth in the US economy over the next four quarters is slightly weaker than that of the last survey. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow at an annual rate of 1.9% this quarter and 2.1% next quarter, down from the previous estimates of 2.4% and 2.2%, respectively. On an annual-average-over-annual-average basis, the panel predicts real GDP will grow between 1.9% and 2.6% from 2019 to 2022.
IT employment in the US posted its first monthly gain so far this year in April, but the gain is modest, the TechServe Alliance reported. The number of IT job rose 0.03% in April when compared to March resulting in total IT jobs of approximately 5.3 million, according to the trade association for the IT and engineering staffing and solution industry. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment was up by 0.14%, representing the addition of just 7,300 IT workers.
TechServe Alliance reported that engineering job employment rose by 0.08% in April compared to March for a total of approximately 2.6 million jobs. Year-over-year, engineering jobs rose by 2.28%, representing an increase of 59,000 engineering workers.
Economic growth in the US will likely decelerate toward 2% this year but is still on track for the longest expansion in US history, The Conference Board forecasts in its US Leading Economic Index. April’s index reading rose 0.2% to 112.1 (2016 = 100), following a 0.3% increase in March and a 0.2% increase in February.
Consumers had a more favorable view of the labor market in May when compared to April, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. Overall, the index rose to a reading of 134.1 in May (1985=100) from a reading of 129.2 in April.
The economy – Canada and the U.S.
The unemployment rate for OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) stood at 5.3% in March 2019, stable when compared to the previous month.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are driving job growth, but require higher investment in skills, innovation and technology to raise wages and productivity, according to a new report from the OECD.
The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.7% in March 2019, down from 8.5% in March 2018 and the lowest rate since September 2008. At the same time, the EU28 unemployment rate was 6.4% in March 2019, down from 7.0% in March 2018 and the lowest rate since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000, according to figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Employer confidence in the UK economy in May remains in limbo due to uncertainty even after the UK’s date for leaving the EU was postponed, according to the latest JobsOutlook report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. The report found that employer confidence remained close to the record low levels reported last month, with their confidence in the British economy and in making hiring and investment decisions in their own businesses at a net: -29 and net: -3, respectively.
Professional job availability across the south of England remains strong, with Cambridge, Bristol and Southampton creating opportunities within different sectors, according to new data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), based on research undertaken by Vacancysoft.
There were 2.31 million people employed in Ireland in the first quarter of 2019, a 3.6% increase on the same quarter of 2018, according to the latest Labour Force Survey data published by the Central Statistics Office.
Germany‘s jobless rate rose in May to 5.0%, up slightly from the previous month’s 4.9%, according to data from the Federal Employment Agency. The uptick in unemployment was the first increase in more than five years.
Growth in economic activity has led to a surge in demand for contract professionals in Norway, according to statistics from 6CATS International, a supplier of international contractor management solutions. Data from 6CATS revealed that Norway saw a 170% increase in freelance professionals working in the country between January and May of 2019.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in New Zealand fell to 4.2% in the March 2019 quarter when compared to 4.4% in the same period last year, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.
Net employment generation in the formal sector stood at 814,000 in March 2019, up from 788,000 in February, reports the Economic Times, citing data from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. The formal sector refers to work provided by licensed organisations, that is, those who are registered and pay GST. This represents approximately 6% of work in India, most of which is conducted via informal working.
The unemployment rate in India edged up to 7.6% in April, up from 6.7% in March, and the highest rate since October 2016, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.
The Indian technology industry will add 3 million jobs over the next five years to bring the number of tech workers to 7 million, The Hindu reported citing data from the Indian Staffing Federation. Jobs will be in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, data science, blockchain and more.
Mexico‘s gross domestic product fell by an annualized rate of 0.8% in the first quarter, according to an economic update released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. This follows growth of 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and pushes growth farther from its long-run average of 2.4%. Turning to jobs, formal-sector employment in Mexico — jobs with government benefits and pensions — grew at an annualized rate of 1.0% in March, well below the 10-year average of 3.6% annual growth. Formal-sector employment growth has been below average for the last seven months. The unemployment rate for Mexico ticked up to 3.6% in March, slightly higher than last year’s average of 3.3%.
Japan‘s work culture of long hours and strict top-down discipline is changing as unemployment hit a 26-year low, The Japan Times reported. "Companies had created a system that rates you on hours worked, and that’s how you got ahead in the corporate world. Now it’s becoming a question of how you can produce results with limited resources in Japan," Yoshie Komuro told The Japan Times; Komuro is head of Work-Life Balance Inc., which advises the government on labour reforms.
The employment rate for jobseekers in Japan who graduated from universities this spring stood at 97.6%, amid an ongoing labour crunch, reports the Japan Times, citing data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The government plans to urge companies to hire employees until age 70 as part of measures to address a severe labour shortage amid, reports Japan Today. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government also plans to call on companies to provide support for retired employees to find new jobs, launch their own companies or work freelance. Many companies in Japan set a retirement age of 60, but employees are legally allowed to work until 65 if they desire and employers are obliged to rehire them.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Australia fell to 5.2% in April 2019, down 0.3% when compared to the same period the previous year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Hong Kong will be short of more than a quarter of a million workers by 2027, mainly because of an ageing population and low birth rate, reports the South China Morning Post citing a report from the Labour and Welfare Bureau.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong stood at 2.8% in the period from February to April 2019, the same as that in January to March 2019, according to the Census and Statistics Department.
The number of temporary employees in South Korea fell to 4.92 million in April 2019, a decrease of 0.9% when compared to 4.87 million in the same period last year, according to data published from Statistics Korea. At the same time, the unemployment rate stood at 4.4% in April, up 0.3% year-on-year. The number of unemployed persons increased by 84,000 or 7.2% year-on-year.
The unemployment rate in Taiwan rose by 0.03% in April 2019 to 3.67%, year-on-year, according to data from the Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics. Compared to March 2019, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.01%. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate rose by 0.01% to 3.73%.