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<a href=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/0lbxGUcICbk/top-7-benefits-articles-2018.aspx target=_blank >Top 7 Benefits Articles for 2018</a>

Top 7 Benefits Articles for 2018

As the year winds down, here’s a look back at some of SHRM Online’s most-read articles about employee benefits this year, describing developments and trends that will have continuing impact in 2019.

<a href=https://abcnews.go.com/US/bomb-threats-demanding-bitcoin-funds-reported-country-authorities/story?id=59805500 target=_blank >Fake bomb threats demanding bitcoin funds reported across the country: Authorities</a>

The threats were sent electronically and demand $20,000 in bitcoins.

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Suspect in deadly shooting in France killed during standoff with police

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Suspect in deadly shooting in France killed during standoff with police

3 were killed and another 13 wounded in the shooting in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

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<a href=https://abcnews.go.com/International/suspect-deadly-shooting-france-neutralized-standoff-police-authorities/story?id=59806220 target=_blank >Suspect in deadly shooting in France killed during standoff with police</a>

3 were killed and another 13 wounded in the shooting in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

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Accused Russian agent pleads guilty to conspiracy

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Accused Russian agent pleads guilty to conspiracy

Maria Butina, a 30-year-old Russian gun rights activist, is in court Thursday morning to change her a plea.

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<a href=https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/maria-butina-accused-russian-agent-appears-federal-court/story?id=59797391 target=_blank >Accused Russian agent pleads guilty to conspiracy</a>

Maria Butina, a 30-year-old Russian gun rights activist, is in court Thursday morning to change her a plea.

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<a href=http://www2.staffingindustry.com/row/Editorial/Daily-News/Singapore-help-total-jobs-up-by-16-700-unemployment-rate-at-2.1-48411 target=_blank >Singapore – help total jobs up by 16,700, unemployment rate at 2.1%</a>

The labour market showed further signs of improvement in the third quarter, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower reported.

Total employment growth more than doubled in the third quarter while the resident unemployment rate and retrenchments remained lower than in the same period a year ago. However, the ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipped, suggesting some easing in the tightening of the labour market, according to the ministry.

Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, increased by 16,700 in the third quarter, up from growth of 6,500 in the previous quarter. Employment growth occurred mainly in sectors such as community; social and personal services; financial and insurance services; information and communications; and professional services.

The ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipped to 1.05 in September from 1.10 in June, but there continues to be more vacancies than job seekers for the third consecutive quarter.

Singapore’s overall unemployment rate edged up to 2.1% in September from 2.0% June. All rates remained at or below those in September 2017; however, they were slightly higher than the two-year lows observed in March 2018, reflecting a continued inflow of job seekers into the labour market.

Going forward, hiring momentum may moderate against a backdrop of external trade tensions and slowing growth in Singapore’s key final demand markets, the ministry stated.

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<a href=http://www2.staffingindustry.com/row/Editorial/Daily-News/New-Zealand-Employment-forecast-to-increase-3.6-in-2019-hourly-wages-to-rise-3.1-48409 target=_blank >New Zealand – Employment forecast to increase 3.6% in 2019, hourly wages to rise 3.1%</a>

New Zealand’s economy is growing, and employment is expected to increase 2.7% in 2019, compared to an increase of 3.6% this year, according to the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2018 released Thursday by the New Zealand Treasury.

Employment growth is forecast to increase 2.0% in 2020 and 1.6% in 2021. However, the unemployment rate, which reached 4.4% this year on an annual average is forecast to fall to 4.1% next year, 3.9% in 2020 and edge up to 4.0% in 2020.

“As growth picks up, continued labour market tightness, combined with a range of labour market policies, including fair pay agreements, pay equity settlements and minimum wage increases, is expected to underpin a rise in wage growth and contribute to a sustained increase in inflation,” according to the report.

The Treasury’s report indicated hourly wages rose 3.0% this year, and are forecast to rise 3.1% next year, 3.3% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021.

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New Zealand – Employment forecast to increase 3.6% in 2019, hourly wages to rise 3.1%

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New Zealand – Employment forecast to increase 3.6% in 2019, hourly wages to rise 3.1%

New Zealand’s economy is growing, and employment is expected to increase 2.7% in 2019, compared to an increase of 3.6% this year, according to the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2018 released Thursday by the New Zealand Treasury.

Employment growth is forecast to increase 2.0% in 2020 and 1.6% in 2021. However, the unemployment rate, which reached 4.4% this year on an annual average is forecast to fall to 4.1% next year, 3.9% in 2020 and edge up to 4.0% in 2020.

“As growth picks up, continued labour market tightness, combined with a range of labour market policies, including fair pay agreements, pay equity settlements and minimum wage increases, is expected to underpin a rise in wage growth and contribute to a sustained increase in inflation,” according to the report.

The Treasury’s report indicated hourly wages rose 3.0% this year, and are forecast to rise 3.1% next year, 3.3% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021.

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Asia Pacific – Millions could lose jobs due to US-China trade tensions, UN report says

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Asia Pacific – Millions could lose jobs due to US-China trade tensions, UN report says

Trade tensions between the US and China have begun to disrupt existing supply chains with trade growth slowing after the first half of this year, according to a report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Tariff increases already in place are expected to cut global domestic product by USD 150 billion, and 2.7 million workers in Asia Pacific could lose their jobs. The most impacted could be the unskilled.

If the tariff war escalates, almost 9 million in the region could lose their jobs.

Global supply chains could shift to other countries, and Vietnam in particular could take over some activities from China, according to the report. Still, such redirection of trade flows cost by trade tensions are not optimal or stable.

“As production shifts take place and resources are reallocated across sectors and borders due to the trade conflicts, tens of millions of workers may see their jobs displaced and be forced to seek new employment,” said Mia Mikic, director of the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division at the commission.

“Regional integration will be important to create new economic opportunities,” Mikic said. “But other complementary policies, such as labour, education and retraining policies plus social protection measures to support people negatively affected must also be placed high on the policymakers’ agenda if the region is to continue making progress towards the sustainable development goals.”

Still, Asia’s economic growth, overall, remains steady despite the trade tensions, reported Modern Diplomacy.

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