Recent research by recruitment giant Randstad reveals that while the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) is generating job growth worldwide, there is a significant skills gap that employers need to address. Despite the enthusiasm of most workers for AI, only one in ten have been offered training opportunities to prepare them for the technology. A global survey of 7,000 workers found that job postings requiring skills in generative AI have increased 20-fold this year. While 53% of respondents expected AI to impact their industry and job, only 13% had received AI training in the past year, even though more than half believed AI skills would enhance their career prospects. Randstad CEO Sander van ‘t Noordende stressed the importance of upskilling the existing workforce and not solely relying on new talent to bridge the AI skills gap. Gen Z workers, who are digitally native, may have an advantage in filling this gap, but specialized training is essential to fully harness AI’s potential.
The U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs in August, representing a slowdown in hiring compared to last year and earlier this year. This growth rate is the lowest in three years, with the government revising down gains for June and July by a combined 110,000. Despite the slowing job market, the unemployment rate increased from 3.5% to 3.8%, primarily due to more people actively seeking employment. The Federal Reserve’s 11 interest rate hikes have helped ease inflation from its peak last year, potentially allowing the central bank to avoid further rate hikes. While the job market is cooling, layoffs remain few, and some economists see the economy returning to its pre-pandemic state, with a strong likelihood that the Fed will leave rates unchanged in its next meeting.
Goldman Sachs has revised its earlier forecast, lowering the probability of a U.S. recession starting within the next 12 months from 20% to 15%. This adjustment is attributed to positive inflation and labor market data. The investment bank anticipates a reacceleration in real disposable income in the coming year due to sustained job growth and rising real wages. Goldman Sachs also noted a diminishing impact from monetary policy tightening, with this effect expected to disappear entirely by early 2024. Recent data showed an increase in U.S. consumer spending in July, but slowing inflation has led to expectations that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current interest rates during its upcoming policy meeting. The bank suggests that Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s cautious approach makes a September rate hike unlikely, with a significant hurdle for a November hike. Goldman Sachs anticipates very gradual rate cuts of 25 basis points per quarter starting in the second quarter of 2024.