About the Total Workforce Index™


In 2013 ManpowerGroup Solutions launched the Contingent Workforce Index. This annual index was developed to provide an in-depth review of the global contingent labor market. Initially focused exclusively on the contingent workforce across 75 markets, the Contingent Workforce Index addressed only a portion of the talent landscape. With the surge of employers committed to global workforce management and integrated workforce programs, the annual index evolved in 2017 to include the total workforce. The total workforce consists of the permanent and contingent workforce’s, along with the subset of contingent workers, identified as the informal workforce.

The segmented views of the global workforce provided by the Total Workforce Index™ enable organizations to easily benchmark their own workforce mix and cost efficiency across global operations to create a total talent solution. For the first time, employers have one resource that provides a global perspective on gender diversity, millennial impact, informal (gig) workforce participation and the gap between permanent and contingent workers from one market to the next.

Workforce Definitions

Total Workforce

The Total Workforce combines people in the contingent workforce and permanent workforces. The total workforce should not be confused with the total labor force. Where the total workforce includes all of the individuals engaged in work activity within a workforce market, the labor force describes both employed and unemployed members of the population who are of working age and who are able to be engaged for work.

Contingent Workforce

The Contingent Workforce includes all non-traditional worker categories from informal and contract to part-time and temporary labor. While the contingent workforce is a portion of the total workforce it can be further divided into the informal and non-informal workforces. The informal workforce includes workers who accept engagements and compensation on a per job basis also commonly referred to as ‘Gig Economy’ workers.

Permanent Workforce

The Permanent Workforce includes the most traditionally thought of form of employment. These are individuals employed full-time. Though this category can also be broken down by employment status such as tenure, faculty, or staff those distinctions are generally made by employer policy as opposed to legislation.  As such, the permanent workforce is looked at in its entirety, while excluding those that are unemployed or otherwise not a part of the active workforce.

What is the Total Workforce Index™?

The Total Workforce Index™ measures the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining a workforce in competing labor markets around the world. The Total Workforce Index™ compiles more than 90 key factors that relate to the Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity of the workforce of each market. Unlike any other workforce index, the ManpowerGroup Solutions Total Workforce Index™ considers each aspect of the workforce and its unique dynamics, rather than inaccurately clustering contingent and permanent workers into a broad demographic analysis. The inclusive segmentation of the entire workforce introduces a new level of visibility and enables the review and analysis of all contingent and permanent workforce considerations, in addition to the sum of these two workforce segments.

Also setting the Total Workforce Index™ apart from other reports of a similar nature is the use of a proprietary ManpowerGroup formula. This formula assigns a numerical value to each market, comparing the relative opportunities and potentially negative impacts of entering one labor market versus another.

Just as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a market is used as an economic indicator; the Total Workforce Index™ may be used as an indicator of workforce potential. Total Workforce Index™ rankings provide important perspectives and insights that can influence both short- and long-term strategies involving workforce procurement, including:

Capacity Planning
Merger and Acquisition
Cost Savings
Organizational Restructuring
Market Investments
Workforce Mix

In this global Total Workforce Index™ analysis, an equal weight is attributed to each of the four categories: Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity. A higher Total Workforce Index™ ranking indicates that a market is likely to support higher volumes of hiring − whether contingent, permanent or a combination of both − based on workforce quality and productivity.

About the Data

Tracking over 90 data factors the primary data sources for this index are all based on statistics from the ministries of labour for the 75 markets within the scope, the Central Intelligence Agency (U.S.), World Data Bank, Trading Economics, and internal data collected as part of ManpowerGroup global reporting efforts. View factor glossary…