Upper Manhattan
Upper Manhattan

New York is the lowest risk city in the world for recruiting, employing and relocating employees, according to rankings released by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of Aon plc.

This is the second year that New York was identified by the firm as the lowest risk city, Aon Hewitt said, explaining that world-class educational institutions, training facilities and availability of a large pool of qualified and experienced talent were among the reasons for the ranking.

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.

Rounding out the top five, according to the index, the lowest risk cities are:

  • New York
  • Singapore
  • Toronto
  • London
  • Montreal

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 (coming in at No. 7 on a ranking of lowest to highest risk).

Aon Hewitt also notes that two European cities moved up the ranks to be among the top 10 in 2013— Copenhagen and Zurich, attributing the moves to many pro-business employment policies present in these two cities, their open-door policies towards talent and continued focus on developing and improving the education and talent development infrastructures. In addition, Aon Hewitt said that 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.

At the other end of the risk scale, the highest-risk cities according to the Aon Hewitt 2013 People Risk Index are:

  • Luanda, Angola
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Sana’a, Yemen
  • 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. In addition, Aon Hewitt cited the lack of government investment in developing and improving the education and talent development infrastructure, which increases an employer’s risk in finding skilled talent.
In a statement about the rankings, Richard Payne, Talent and Rewards practice leader for Aon Hewitt, said: “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.” Payne added, however, that 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, Aon Hewitt said. “Africa presents many opportunities if employers are able to identify and mitigate the people risk in these cities effectively.” Payne added.

The results of Aon Hewitt’s People Risk Index are based on in-depth research conducted over a six-month period by the Aon Hewitt’s Regional Talent & Rewards Analytics Center in Singapore. Data from more than 100 statistical sources provide the quantitative basis for the ratings. These are supplemented by the assessment of Aon Hewitt’s local and regional human resources experts from around the world.

The 138 cities were selected based on population size, rate of population growth, level of business investment and geographic spread among the cities covered.
More About The Index

Aon Hewitt’s People Risk Index assigned ratings relative to risk for 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad areas: Demographics; Education; Government Support; Talent Development; and Employment Practices. Each of the 30 factors has a scale from 1 (minimal risk) to 10 (extreme risk).

Source: Aon Hewitt