New York Maintains Rank as the Lowest Risk City in the World to Recruit, Employ and Redeploy Talent, According to Aon Hewitt

SINGAPORE, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — For the second year, New York is the lowest risk city in the world for recruiting, employing and relocating employees, according to rankings released today by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON). New York retained its title as the world’s lowest risk city due to its world-class educational institutions, training facilities and availability of a large pool of qualified and experienced talent. New York’s demographic risk is the second lowest due to its large working age population and high workforce productivity.

Aon Hewitt’s 2013 People Risk Index measures the risks that organizations face with recruitment, employment and relocation in 138 cities worldwide by analyzing factors as demographics, access to education, talent development, employment practices and government regulations. According to the index, New York, Singapore, Toronto, London and Montreal retained their ranks as the top five lowest risk cities in the world. Conversely, Luanda, Angola; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Sana’a, Yemen; and Damascus, Syria represent the highest risk locations of the 138 cities for employers.

“The way businesses now recognize and manage people risk has changed significantly over the last few years,” said Richard Payne, Talent and Rewards practice leader for Aon Hewitt in Asia Pacific. “Driven by a need to do more with less, business leaders have to be more innovative around how they invest; this has had an impact on how they think about talent sourcing and work force planning. Aon Hewitt’s People Risk Index enables businesses to make informed decisions – to balance operational requirements with people risks.”

The 10 Lowest Risk Cities

The Aon Hewitt 2013 People Risk Index showed minimal differences from the 2012 rankings among the top five cities. Singapore remains the only city outside of Europe and North America that is ranked among the top five, while Hong Kong is among those ranked as the 10 lowest risk cities. Of note, two European cities moved up the ranks to be among the top 10 in 2013 – Copenhagen and Zurich. This can be attributed to the many pro-business employment policies in these two cities, their open door policy towards talent and continued focus on developing and improving the education and talent development infrastructures. Furthermore, the increased risk in the euro zone cities exacerbated by the ongoing debt crisis has reduced the relative risk in European cities outside of the euro zone.

“Pro-business employment policies have a significant impact on people risk,” Payne added. “Where government policies support a more flexible approach to talent immigration, employment practices and the provision of social welfare, these cities are able to attract and retain a talent supply critical for businesses.”

Trends from the Highest Risk Cities

The top 10 highest risk cities to employers were: Luanda, Angola; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Lagos, Nigeria; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Tripoli, Libya; Karachi, Pakistan; Baghdad, Iraq; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Sana’a, Yemen; and Damascus, Syria.

The lack of a stable and transparent government continues to be an obstacle to implement and enforce business-friendly employment practices in these cities. Furthermore, the lack of government investment in developing and improving the education and talent development infrastructure increases an employer’s risk in finding skilled talent, as the current infrastructure is unable to support employers’ workforce demands.

“There is a silver lining for these high risk cities – they will continue to experience population growth in the next decade which will increase the size of the labor pool,” said Payne. “However, if the education and talent development infrastructure do not improve, these cities will face a surplus of low skilled workers and a shortage of highly educated professional talent.”

Despite the challenging business and people environment, organizations are still expressing interest in these high risk locations due to the abundant natural resources and high economic growth potential. “Africa presents many opportunities if employers are able to identify and mitigate the people risk in these cities effectively.” Payne added.

To find out more about the 2013 People Risk Index, and to obtain a copy of the 2013 People Risk Index Ratings, please visit

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