- Global economic growth is slated to slow in 2019 and labor markets in leading economies will continue to tighten, a new PwC report said. With unemployment expected to continue dropping in leading economies, PwC said, a tighter market may drive up wages.
- U.S. economic growth is expected to drop from an estimated 2.8% in 2018 to 2.3% in 2019. The projected economic slowdown and continued drop in the unemployment rate still presents challenges for employers with job openings to fill, the report concluded.
- "Last year, the big economic news was centred around advanced economies creating around 4.5 million jobs," PwC's senior economist Barret Kupelian said in a statement. "We expect this trend to gradually moderate in 2019 with some economies like the U.S., Canada and Germany hitting structural floors in their unemployment rates, and wage growth starting to gradually pick up."
The U.S. saw consistent job growth in last quarter of 2018 (with a slight dip in November), and it ended the year with a robust gain of 312,000 in December. Meanwhile, unemployment closed out the year with a moderate increase of 3.9%, a 0.2% uptick from the previous three months. Although month-to-month numbers don't predict what the economy will do over the long haul, recent job numbers and continued low unemployment show that recruiting challenges remain for employers.
Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association, said in a statement on October's job numbers: "With close to 1 million more job openings than unemployed workers to fill them, employers need to reexamine their recruitment, retention, and employee development strategies to remain competitive and support continued growth." As the labor market continues to contract, that message still applies.
Despite the economic uncertainty, HR and C-suite executives are optimistic about the future, according to Randstad's 2019 Business Health Index. Conditions, such as actual business growth, hiring levels, future growth outlook and the political outlook, have improved, according to the report, leading to a trend of across-the-board hiring. To ride the tide of economic uncertainty, employers will need to be agile with staffing, which might include adopting flexible work schedules and contracting with freelancers.