For the world’s most innovative companies, the stated goal of attracting top talent is not simply an HR mantra – it’s a matter of survival.
Whether we’re talking about a giant like Google that is constantly searching to add world-class engineers or we’re talking about a startup that needs a visionary to shape products of the future, innovative companies require access to high-skilled workers to stay ahead of their competition.
The Global Search for Talent
There’s no doubt that top companies will go out of their way to bring in highly-skilled workers, even if they must look internationally to find the best of the best.
However, part of this recruitment process is not necessarily under their control. The reality is that countries themselves have different policies that affect how easy it is to attract people, educate and develop them, and retain the best workers – and these factors can either empower or undermine talent recruitment efforts.
Today’s infographic comes from KDM Engineering, and it breaks down the top 25 countries in attracting high-skilled workers.
If attracting the best people isn’t hard enough, there is another factor that can complicate things: the best people are sometimes not found locally or even nationally.
For top companies, recruitment is a global game – and it’s partially driven by the policies of governments as well as the quality of life within their countries’ borders.
Top Countries for Attracting High-Skilled Workers
Using data from the United Nations and the Global Talent Competitive Index, here are the top 10 countries that are the best at attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers.
They are ordered by overall rank, but their sub-category ranks are also displayed:
|#3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||#8||#11||#7||#5||8,543,120|
|#4||🇺🇸 United States||#11||#16||#2||#8||46,627,102|
The subcategory ranks are defined as follows:
- Enable: Status of regulatory and market landscapes in country
- Attract: Ability to attract companies and people with needed competencies
- Grow: Ability to offer high-quality education, apprenticeships, and training
- Retain: Indicates quality of life in country
According to the data, Switzerland (#1) and Singapore (#2) are the two best countries for attaining and keeping high-skilled workers.
While the regulatory environments in both of these countries are well-known by reputation, perhaps what’s more surprising is that Singapore scores the #1 rank in the “Attract” subcategory, while Switzerland is the #1 country for retaining talent based on quality of life.
Another data point that stands out?
The United States has a higher total migrant population (46.6 million) than all of the countries on the top 10 list combined. Not surprisingly, the massive U.S. economy also has a high ranking in the “Grow” category, which represents available opportunities to bring high-skilled workers to the next level through education and training.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game – here are the countries and regions projected to contribute the most to global growth in 2019.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game.
As long as the data adds up to economic expansion on a worldwide level, it’s easy to keep the status quo rolling. Companies can shift resources to the growing segments, and investors can put capital where it can go to work.
At the end of the day, growth cures everything – it’s only when it dries up that things get hairy.
Breaking Down Global Growth in 2019
Today’s chart uses data from Standard Chartered and the IMF to break down where economic growth is happening in 2019 using purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Further, it also compares the share of the global GDP pie taken by key countries and regions over time.
Let’s start by looking at where global growth is forecasted to occur in 2019:
|Country or Region||Share of Global GDP Growth (PPP) in 2019F|
|Other Asia (Excl. China/Japan)||29%|
|Middle East & North Africa||4%|
|Latin America & Caribbean||3%|
|Rest of World||8%|
The data here mimics some of the previous estimates we’ve seen from Standard Chartered, such as this chart which projects the largest economies in 2030.
Asia as a whole will account for 63% of all global GDP growth (PPP) this year, with the lion’s share going to China. Countries like India and Indonesia will contribute to the “Other Asia” share, and Japan will only contribute 1% to the global growth total.
In terms of developed economies, the U.S. will lead the pack (11%) in contributing to global growth. Europe will add 8% between its various sub-regions, and Canada will add 1%.
Share of Global Economy Over Time
Based on the above projections, we were interested in taking a look at how each region or country’s share of global GDP (PPP) has changed over recent decades.
This time, we used IMF projections from its data mapper tool to loosely approximate the regions above, though there are some minor differences in how the data is organized.
|Country or Region||Share of GDP (PPP, 1980)||Share of GDP (PPP, 2019F)||Change|
|Developing Asia||8.9%||34.1%||+25.2 pp|
|European Union||29.9%||16.0%||-13.9 pp|
|United States||21.6%||15.0%||-6.6 pp|
|Latin America & Caribbean||12.2%||7.4%||-4.8 pp|
|Middle East & North Africa||8.6%||6.5%||-2.1 pp|
|Sub-Saharan Africa||2.4%||3.0%||+0.6 pp|
In the past 40 years or so, Developing Asia has increased its share of the global economy (in PPP terms) from 8.9% to an estimated 34.1% today. This dominant region includes China, India, and other fast-growing economies.
The European Union and the United States combined for 51.5% of global productivity in 1980, but they now account for 31% of the total economic mix. Similarly, the Latin America and MENA regions are seeing similar decreases in their share of the economic pie.
Top U.S. Companies by Import and Export Volume
Millions of tons of cargo get moved in and out of the U.S. every day. Which companies are bringing goods in, and which are shipping them out?
Nothing has transformed our economy quite like containerized shipping.
From Rotterdam to Singapore, we see tangible evidence of the world’s bustling maritime shipping network as cranes load and unload uniform containers in a flurry of activity. The efficiency of this system has massively impacted the global economy, but this uniformity has also had the unintended consequence of anonymizing shipping. From the outside looking in, there’s no indication of who’s actually doing the shipping.
Today’s graphic, using data from JOC, highlights the actual companies behind the United States’ import–export numbers.
Outgoing: Recyclables and Raw Materials
While companies like Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar export a high volume of consumer goods and equipment, the export market is dominated by bulk materials, natural resources, and chemicals.
Here are the top 20 companies by export volume (20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs):
|1||America Chung Nam||284,500||📄 Paper
|2||International Paper||248,400||📄 Paper
|3||Ralison International||130,100||📄 Paper
|4||Koch Industries||120,800||💼 Conglomerate|
|5||International Forest Products||109,400||🌲 Paper/Forest Products
|6||DeLong||106,600||🐮 Animal Feed
|7||WM Recycle America||75,300||💼 Diversified
|9||Louis Dreyfus Commodities||68,200||⚪️ Cotton
|11||JBS USA||65,400||🍖 Meats
|12||ExxonMobil Chemical||63,400||🛢 Chemicals|
|13||Newport CH International||62,100||♻️ Recyclables|
|14||BMW of North America||61,600||🚘 Automotive Goods|
|16||JC Horizon||55,600||♻️ Recyclables|
|17||Eastman Chemical||53,800||🛢 Chemicals/Plastics|
|18||Potential Industries||51,600||📄 Paper
|19||Domtar||48,100||🌲 Paper/Forest Products|
|20||Sims Metal Management||47,700||⚙️ Metals
Note: TEU = Twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measure of volume in units of twenty-foot long shipping containers.
Though exporters of recyclable materials feature prominently on this list, there may be a shake-up coming in the near future.
China’s Recycling Diet
In Western countries, people often assume that their top export by volume is a high-value manufactured good or, at very least, a natural resource like timber or oil. The truth is, a sizable portion of exports from Western countries are waste materials.
This isn’t a new trend. In 2009, nine of the top 20 exporters in the U.S. were sending recyclable materials overseas – particularly to China.
This convenient trade relationship, where ships bring consumer goods to America and return filled with recyclable materials, is being disrupted in a big way. In 2018, China launched Operation National Sword, which could potentially tie a knot in the steady pipeline of waste materials being imported into the country.
For now, countries like Vietnam and Thailand have picked up some of the slack, but before long, Western countries will need to take a serious look at beefing up domestic recycling programs.
Incoming: The Stuff We Buy
On the other end of the equation are the consumer goods that get purchased every day.
In modern society, there’s a very good chance the items around you right now were not built in the country you live in. While many companies import goods from overseas, a few major players move a staggering volume of goods through America’s ports.
Here are the top 20 companies by import volume (TEUs):
|3||Home Depot||388,000||🛒 Retail|
|5||Dole Food||220,200||🍍 Produce|
|6||Samsung America||184,800||💼 Conglomerate|
|7||Family Dollar / Dollar Tree||168,400||🛒 Retail|
|8||LG Group||161,600||💼 Conglomerate|
|9||Philips Electronics N.A.||142,900||📺 Electronics|
|10||IKEA International||120,500||🛒 Retail|
|11||Chiquita Brands Int'l||117,500||🍌 Produce|
|12||Nike||116,300||👞 Footwear / Apparel|
|13||Newell Brands||115,400||🍶 Outdoor / Home Goods|
|14||Costco Wholesale||111,700||🛒 Retail|
|15||Sears Holdings||103,200||🛒 Retail|
|16||J.C. Penney||101,100||🛒 Retail|
|17||General Electric||92,300||💼 Conglomerate|
|18||Ashley Furniture Industries||85,700||🛋 Furniture|
|20||Heineken USA||73,100||🍺 Beverages|
In contrast to the top exporters list, the top importing companies are generally more recognizable names, such as Target, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, and Ikea.
It will come as no surprise that Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer by some margin, is also America’s top importer. In a single year, Walmart’s incoming goods would equate to nearly 50 of the industry’s largest fully-loaded cargo ships.
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