APAC Regional Overview – Total Workforce Index™


APAC Overview

With the majority of the world’s workforce sitting in the Asia Pacific region, it is no surprise that expanding workforce programs into Asia is a top priority among employers. Both Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programs are being expanded across the region. Additionally, there is an increased focus on both compensation analysis and retention initiatives, as more visibility and control is established across regional hiring programs. While many organizations are evaluating near-shore and re-shoring options, the APAC market continues to be the leading location strategy for most centralized functions.

Having access to market data across the region is not just convenient, but necessary, as this information can be difficult to find and there is no longer a singular focus on China and India. New skills requirements, updated tax policy, and labour laws have shifted some of the cost benefit scenarios in the region, making some smaller markets more effective in the sourcing of certain skills or the support of particular shift schedules. Each Asian market has its own value proposition, ranging from wages and productivity to skills and risk mitigation. Therefore, market selection may shift depending on hiring priorities, making comparative market data more advantageous.

Sam Haggag
Director MSP & Sales, APAC
ManpowerGroup Middle East Country Manager

Top 5 Markets in the APAC Region

The top five markets in the APAC region encompass a variety of regulatory factors as well as productivity-impacting metrics based on factors such as the availability of skilled talent and cost considerations. New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore perform the best when the four categories are combined, due in part to minimal regulatory impact, and higher relative productivity and availability.

Complete Rankings for the APAC Region

The chart below shows the regional ranking of each market in the Asian Pacific region, as well as their global ranking. These rankings include the total workforce in each market, and the resulting rank is determined when each of the four categories is evenly weighted.

APAC Regional Rankings

New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore secure the top three positions both regionally and globally in the Total Workforce Index™; while Australia and the Philippines rank fourth and fifth respectively. This indicates that New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore present not only the most favorable markets for workforce engagement in the APAC region but the most favorable global markets, keeping the APAC region at the top of mind in workforce engagement planning discussions.

Regional Insights

The average monthly wage in the APAC region is $2003.00, but many of the markets in this region fall far below this benchmark. New Zealand, Singapore and Australia have the highest average monthly wages in the region but are still in the top five markets for workforce engagement based on other regulatory and availability factors, making some of the low-cost markets less favorable.

Manufacturing wages reflect the sustainability of skilled talent from both a sourcing and retention standpoint specific to each market. Where the desired skills are readily available, and workers are willing to accept lower wages, the average wage for that market will decrease over time as evidenced in India, Vietnam and the Philippines. However, where the availability of skilled workers is limited within the manufacturing industry, and job seekers are less likely to accept positions with low wages, the average manufacturing wage will be higher than the regional average, such as in Australia, Singapore and South Korea.

An untapped market, Taiwan falls just below the regional average for manufacturing wages and in the middle of the region’s markets for manufacturing wage costs. Taiwan’s economy is composed of nearly 60% service-based industries while home to a growing informal workforce that is roughly 6% of the total workforce. It is no surprise that the percentage of millennials in this market exceeds the regional average (30%) at 33% of the workforce, and only 8% of workers are considered non-skilled. Taiwan ranks 6th for Productivity and 8th for Availability in the APAC region and also falls in the middle range for employment taxes.

Aggregated Employment Tax Ranges average 16% across the APAC region, exceeding the average in the Americas region. Only China, where the actual employer tax rate is 48.8% − the highest in the region by a significant margin − exceeds other markets in the region. Higher taxes, overtime premiums and other statutory burdens are decreasing China’s competitiveness when compared to other markets, despite the size of its workforce.

For more information, interactive charts and to download the full Total Workforce Index™ visit the Total Workforce Index™ microsite from the link below.

Total Workforce Index™