HRO Today October 2019 - 59

HRO Today Research
Key Takeaways
* The global economy is projected to expand 2.8
percent in 2019, less than in recent years due largely
to weaker momentum in developed economies and
China.
* The global labor market should remain tight once
again with 25 of the 49 countries analyzed in the
report showing unemployment levels of 5.0 percent
or less, which is considered by many economists as at
or near full employment. This is about the same as the
fi rst quarter fi ndings.
* In the second quarter, 25 of the 49 countries
analyzed in this report announced decreases in
national unemployment rates since the fi rst quarter,
while 12 reported increases. The remaining 12 were
unchanged.
* In the United States, stocks fi nished their best fi rst
half in over two decades as the S&P 500 closed up 17
percent for the fi rst quarter of 2019, while The Dow
Jones Industrial Average rose 14 percent in the fi rst
quarter. Unemployment remained at a low 3.7 percent
* According to the latest statistics from the World
Economic Forum, Western European countries
constitute seven of the top 10 highest ranked countries
for high-skilled employment. Luxembourg again
claimed the number one spot as about 63 percent of
people are engaged in high skilled employment. The
United States ranked twenty-fi rst.
with their own personal values, reports Fortune.
United States and Canada
A tight labor market continued in the United States as
the unemployment rate stayed near historic lows. While
consumer optimism remained relatively high within the
ongoing economic expansion, the Consumer Confi dence
Index in June of 2019 fell to the lowest level since the third
quarter of 2017 as trade tensions continued and some
consumers faced recessionary fears. However, June marked
the 11th straight month where average hourly earnings
increased by at least 3 percent compared to the previous
year, according to a White House report. As consumers
have more money in their pockets, they generally are more
inclined to spend money which drives economic growth.
In June, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent,
which marks the sixth consecutive quarter with an
unemployment rate of 4.0 or less. U.S. stocks fi nished
their best fi rst half in over two decades, despite having a
somewhat volatile second quarter in 2019. In the fi rst half
of the year, the S&P 500 increased 17 percent while The
Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14 percent, marking the
best fi rst halves since 1997 and 1999, respectively. The runup
in the markets has been largely attributed to investors
speculating that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates
and overcoming an escalation in the U.S.-China trade fi ght,
reports Yahoo Finance.
The Canadian unemployment rate decreased by 0.3
percent from the fi rst quarter of 2019 to 5.5 percent in the
second quarter as 250,000 net new jobs were created in
the fi rst fi ve months of the year. While business confi dence
returned to positive territory within the fi rst quarter of
the year, household debt reached nearly 15 percent of
disposable income, reports National Bank of Canada. A rise
in household debt leaves consumers with less disposable
income to use on new purchases as they pay off debt, as
well as an increased chance of default.
Asia-Pacifi c (APAC)
According to a FocusEconomics estimate, the ESA region
(East and South Asia) is expected to face headwinds this
year from slow global growth and rising global trade
protectionism as the region is highly susceptible to a
Chinese economic slowdown. However, higher growth in
Bangladesh and India should help accelerate growth in the
near term.
China has by far the largest economy in the region with a
GDP of $13.4 trillion and is nearly three times larger than
the second biggest economy in the region Japan. The
Chinese economy grew at the weakest pace since 1992 as
the trade war continued to undermine the external sector
and investment growth, despite bank lending increasing
within the quarter. However, in late June, China and the
U.S. agreed to restart trade negotiations and the U.S.
canceled new tariffs on Chinese exports. Economists
forecast the Chinese economy to grow at 6.2 percent in
2019.
Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)
The EMEA region covers three continents and includes
OCTOBER 2019 | www.hrotoday.com
[59]
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HRO Today October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today October 2019

HRO Today October 2019 - 1
HRO Today October 2019 - 2
HRO Today October 2019 - 3
HRO Today October 2019 - 4
HRO Today October 2019 - 5
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