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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 number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) in the April to June 2019 was 114 300, similar to that of the March - May 2019 period (114 100).

At the same time, total employment in Hong Kong increased by approximately 1,600 to 3.87 million during the same period. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by approximately 1,700 to 3.98 million.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong commented, “The unemployment situation was broadly steady in most economic sectors. However, the unemployment rate in foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector has been generally rising over the past year notwithstanding the decrease in the latest three-month period, conceivably due to the completion of some major infrastructure projects. The unemployment rate in the import and export trade sector also increased visibly over a year earlier amid weaker trade flows."

Looking ahead, Law said, "The labour market is expected to remain largely stable in the near term. The government will stay vigilant to how a softer economic environment and other unfavourable factors will affect the local labour market going forward."

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A new global study found 86% of organisations believe agility is central to their business’ success, yet 28% measure for it when assessing existing or potential employees.

The study was based on a global survey of 256 business leaders, HR professionals and industry experts by Morgan Philips Talent Consulting.

According to the survey, a further 58% said their selection and development process is mapped to ensure they have individuals with agility to deliver their organisational strategy. However, only 28% of respondents currently measure for agility during the assessment of existing and potential employees (one fifth of respondents are unsure if they measure for agility while over half do not measure at all). The survey also revealed that 57% of respondents struggle to identify and recruit agile talent.

“With less than one in five survey respondents describing their organisation as “stable”, the majority of businesses are growing, volatile or consolidating, indicating at a strong need for a more agile workforce,” the survey stated.

The most commonly used method of assessing talent is through face-to-face assessments (69%), followed by performance appraisals (63.3%) and interviews (54.7%); whereas the use of more objective and robust assessments such as online psychometrics, development reports, and remote and group assessments are significantly less common.

Crucial to creating an agile workforce is by investing in an environment where employees can make mistakes and learn from them, according to the survey respondents, with 92% of respondents agreeing with the statement.

Talent Solutions Director at Morgan Philips Talent Consulting, Dane Poboka, commented, “Creating an agile workforce is clearly something that is playing on the minds of business leaders and HR professionals, but many are struggling to accurately determine what agility is, and more importantly, how to measure and develop it in their employees.”

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The number of advertised job vacancies in New Zealand on classified ads site, Trade Me Jobs, fell by 7.7% in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period last year.

“The job market went from strength-to-strength in 2018 but this year it's taken a hammering, with business confidence at a ten-year low. This is hitting the job market hard and as a result many businesses have put the brakes on their hiring," Trade Me Jobs head Jeremy Wade said.

Wade said employers in the main centres in particular appear to be taking a step back with their hiring.

“Over the last few years, businesses throughout the main centres have had a huge demand for people and they were really desperate for people to fill their roles, now we’re seeing quite a different picture,” Wade said.

Wade added that smaller businesses are particularly reluctant to hire new employees which is making it tough for jobseekers across the country. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our country and when uncertainty increases these businesses start questioning if they can really afford that new hire. With the recent minimum wage increase and little love for businesses in the recent budget, smaller businesses are tightening their belts,” Wade said.

While job ads are on the decline, the national average wage experienced the largest annual increase in almost five years, rising 1.2%, year-on-year. The IT sector topped the list for the highest paying industry on Trade Me Jobs.

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Nearly 90% of students in Taiwan work part-time jobs during summer holidays to make money and gain career experience, reports Xinhua, citing data from jobs site 1111 Job Bank. Nearly half, or 40%, of the students surveyed replied that they only work during the summer holidays and 47% of them said they work during school semesters and summer holidays. On average, students who work part-time are engaged in work for 90.7% per month, earning a monthly salary of nearly TWD 14,000 (USD 451). The survey also showed that approximately half of the students want to work at restaurants while 40% want to work as teachers or admin staff. Xinhua cited student loans as a reason for the high number of students working during the summer as Taiwan has 840,000 people on student loans, totalling TWD 176 billion (USD 5.66 billion).

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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.

When compared to the previous month, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate showed no change.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 0.9% in June 2019 when compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the number of employed persons increased by 2.4%.

Australia’s labour force participation rate stood at 66.0%, up 0.3% compared to the previous year.

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman commented,, "Australia's participation rate was at 66% in June 2019, which means nearly two of every three people are currently participating in the labour market. The participation rate for 15 to 64 year olds was even higher and closer to four out of every five people.”

Catherine Birch, senior economist at ANZ, told FX Street, “The ANZ Labour Market Indicator suggests that employment growth will slow further and that the unemployment rate will stick around the 5.2-5.3% mark for the remainder of 2019.”

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Australian job board SEEK’s latest employment report showed a decrease of 7.7% in jobs advertised in June 2019 compared to June 2018. At the same time, the average advertised salary across Australia increased by 2.7% year-on-year.

The science & technology sector reported the highest job ad growth rate with a rise of 19.2%, year-on-year. Within this sector, roles for quality assurance & control saw the greatest growth (70.6%), followed by environmental, earth & geosciences (54.1%) and food technology & safety (28.8%).

The education & training sector reported the second-highest job ad growth rate (14.5%).

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ commented, “As we know, June is the last month of the financial year and tends to be a quieter month for job ad volume. We have seen a continued decline of job ad growth this month extending the trend of 2019. However, the first few months of a new financial year - with businesses setting new priorities and budgets being refreshed - normally form the busiest months for recruitment in the whole year. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few months, where I believe we will get a clearer picture of the current employment market.”

All states and territories showed a decline in job ad volume except the Australian Capital Territory (5.3%) and Tasmania (0.9%).

Meanwhile, the average advertised salary across Australia rose across all states and territories with the exception of Tasmania (-0.8%).  Victoria led the way in salary growth (3.2%), followed by New South Wales (3.0%) and the Northern Territory (2.5%).

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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.

According to the CIER index, the ten sectors with the lowest ratio of vacancies to applicants are mostly in traditional industries, such as manufacturing, energy, mining, and printing, where there is low demand for new hires.

The top ten sectors were largely related to service, such as travel agencies, recruiters, insurance, and education, however financial services reported a fall in both job postings and applicants.

Earlier this week, 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%.

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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. Chen Bin, head of foreign nationals management department with the State Immigration Administration, said, ““Pilot programmes show these policies are very valuable and have clear effects. The impact is wide and the demand is high. They will effectively promote opening up and social and economic development.”

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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. Harvey Nash says this is likely to lead to a significant reorganisation of roles across the business.

However, the majority, or 69%, of CIOs believe that new jobs will compensate for job losses to AI/automation.

Harvey Nash’s survey also found that CIOs are struggling to find the right talent with skills shortages at their highest level since 2008. The three most scarce skills are big data/analytics (44%), cyber security (39%) and AI (39%). 

Meanwhile, fewer CIOs now sit on boards in 2019, dropping from 71% to 58% in just two years. This is despite the influence of the CIO remaining intact (66% this year view the role as gaining influence compared to 65% in 2018).

Harvey Nash and KPMG’s survey of 3,645 CIOs and technology leaders was conducted between 13 December 2018 and 4 April 2019, across 108 countries. 

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Nearly a third, or 31% of employers say soft skills have the highest impact on the effectiveness of their organisation, according to research from Hays.

Of the 3,400 organisations in Australia surveyed for the Hays Salary Guide, 62% of those who intend to add permanent staff to their organisation this financial year want candidates with problem solving skills. A futher 58% want strong communication skills while  47% want critical thinking skills.

While soft skills carry weight in hiring decisions, Hays also found that 52% of employers still rate technical skills as having the highest impact.

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, commented, “Technical skills aren’t all it takes to get a new job this financial year.”

“While technical capabilities ensure you can do a job, it’s soft skills that allow someone to share and discuss ideas, forge effective relationships with stakeholders, work with others to solve problems and accurately look at information to come to the best conclusion,” Deligiannis said. “It’s these soft skills that allow someone to function well in a workplace. They distinguish candidates who otherwise possess similar technical skills and so play a vital role in your job search and subsequent career progression.”

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