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Last week Eurostat, the European Unions statistics authority, released a report showing the lowest unemployment rate since records began for the 13 countries using the euro. A 0.5% fall in unemployment in Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, accounted for most of the change; France is also at a 24 year low.
Inflation is currently at 1.9%, which is at the current EU target of just under 2%. Interest rates were raised by a quarter percentage point to 3.75% this month to try to keep inflation down. Interest are expected to go up again, perhaps as soon as in June.
Germany has become the 4th Member State to sign an EU directive into law that makes it easier to admit third-country nationals for the purpose of scientific research. Germany spends more on research and development than any other country in the European Union. All EU countries, except the United Kingdom, are required by treaty to make the directive a law by October 2007.
The European Union has been trying to make it easier for scientists to immigrate to Europe. Higher levels of education and research are seen as critical toward improving the economy and remaining competitive with countries such as the United States and China. European countries are trying not only to hire experienced scientists but are also looking for ways to encourage more foreign students to attend universities in Europe.
India has just completed four years of 7% annual growth and may already be a $1 trillion dollar per year economy. Growth is projected to continue in the economy, which also means an increase in the number of job opportunities across a wide range of professional, skilled positions.
Indian firms are beginning a recruitment drive to bring skilled professionals to India. 160,000 English teachers are needed by 2010, with tens of thousands of IT professionals, engineers and biotechnology scientists being hired. Current efforts are directed at hiring graduates from British universities.
On September 1st of this year, Australia will introduce major changes to their General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. Key changes include tightening requirements in English language proficiency, increased emphasis on skilled work experience, and simplifying the GSM visa structure. A new temporary work visa will be introduced for graduates as well.
The current 15 categories of visas under the GSM will be reduced to nine. A new 18-month Skilled-Graduate visa will be offered for students who have completed their degrees. Under the new category, recent graduates from Australian universities will have "unrestricted" permission to be employed.
A group called the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps wants to begin patrolling the border between Canada and the United States. The organization is comprised of U.S. citizens who feel the government is not doing enough to keep out illegal immigrants and to "make America secure." Until now, the organization has been focusing its activities on the U.S.-Mexican border. The activities of the organization are controversial in the United States, since the federal government is the only organization allowed by the Constitution to control immigration.
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