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Davos WEF

New York the top city globally for entrepreneurial talent, Adecco says

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Key Points
  • New York is the best city in the world for talent competitiveness, followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston. 
  • Switzerland remained the number one country in the rankings, but the U.S. climbed to second place, followed by Singapore.
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New York is the best city in the world for talent competitiveness, according to annual rankings by HR provider, the Adecco Group.

The U.S. city led the way thanks to its strong performance across four of the five pillars on which Adecco bases its research — enabling, attracting and growing talent, as well as its ability to develop global knowledge skills.

The report referred to the success of New York-based start-up Pymetrics, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) — the core theme of this year's report — and neuroscience to match people to jobs, helping the labor market.

London came in second place, followed by Singapore, San Francisco and Boston rounding out the top five places.

Adecco released the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It measures talent competitiveness across 132 countries and 155 cities, in partnership with business school INSEAD and tech giant Google.

Top 10 cities globally for talent competitiveness

  1. New York, U.S.
  2. London, U.K.
  3. Singapore
  4. San Francisco, U.S.
  5. Boston, U.S.
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Paris, France
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Los Angeles, U.S.
  10. Munich, Germany

Switzerland remained the number one country in the world for attracting and holding onto talent, for the seventh year running.

However, the U.S. climbed up one spot to second place, knocking Singapore down to third place in the rankings.

The U.S. performed particularly well in specific sub-categories of talent competitiveness — formal education, lifelong learning and access to growth opportunities.

VIDEO4:1804:18
5 million people must be reskilled by 2030, Adecco CEO says

Adecco noted that high-income countries continued to dominate the top 25 places on its list, with its index finding that these "talent champions" are accelerating further away from the rest of the world.

AI was intensifying this divide, with Adecco pointing out that more than half the population in the developing world lacked even basic digital skills, such as using copy and paste tools. This was according to data from the International Telecommunication Union.

Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group, said that robots and algorithms had gone beyond the factory floor, operating in many other areas of the workplace.

"At all levels, workers need training to hone quintessential 'human skills' — adaptability, social intelligence, communication, problem solving and leadership — that will complement technology," he said.

Speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box on Thursday, Dehaze said that workers lost about 40% of their skills every three years, making their skillset practically "obsolete" after a decade, so investing in education for reskilling was key.

Top 10 countries globally for talent competitiveness

  1. Switzerland
  2. United States
  3. Singapore
  4. Sweden
  5. Denmark
  6. Netherlands
  7. Finland
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Norway
  10. Australia

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