Top Five Markets Comparison – Total Workforce Index™


Top 5 – Overall

The highest ranked markets in the Total Workforce Index™ are those with the highest relative performance across all four categories. When all four categories were weighted equally, and the ManpowerGroup Solutions’ proprietary formula was applied to the more than 90 unique factors considered by the Total Workforce Index™, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Canada rose to the top of the rankings.

These top five markets as ranked by the Total Workforce Index™ rank higher than other top markets considered in the Total Workforce Index™ because of their ability to perform well across two or more of the four main categories of weighted factors, in addition to their having minimal regulatory impact and large workforce availability. Furthermore, these markets are the only ones to rank among the top 10 in all three workforce indices – performing well across all categories.

However, this does not exclude from consideration other top markets with emerging or smaller workforces – such as The Netherlands, Israel and Iceland – when considering prime workforce engagement markets for global expansion.

Top 5 – Availability

Ireland claims the top ranking globally for Availability followed by the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and the United States. Though these markets have scored most favorably in the Availability category, they are not necessarily the largest or most mature markets considered in this report. However, these markets do have the highest availability of skilled workers with a high level of English proficiency, as well as other factors favored by organizations hiring new skills in the current labor market.

Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway, while noticeably smaller than the United States or the United Kingdom, boast above average ratios of skilled labor with highly educated and English proficient workforces. Additionally, they are boosted by emerging and informal workforce trends that substantiate the growing sustainability of their labor markets.

In Ireland, for example, a past exodus of workers in their 20s has recently been curtailed. One-third of Ireland’s population is now under the age of 25, and its workforce is expanding at a rapid rate. They also have a very high level of workers with secondary and tertiary education increasing the availability of skills relevant to the job descriptions presently being filled by employers.

Top 5 – Cost Efficiency

Thailand ranks first in Cost Efficiency, followed by Chile, the Philippines, Morocco and Guatemala. However, these markets present other potential challenges with regulatory constraints and low availability of skilled and English-proficient workers, most notably in Guatemala and Morocco.

Traditionally the lowest cost markets also tend to be some of the least mature and, as a rule, have less consistent regulation and availability. The Philippines, however, is a recognized exception to this generalization. The Philippines recently passed legislation to ban subcontracting and enforce restrictions of contract terminations. While this may affect future cost efficiency, current national surveys indicate that nearly 70% of the workforce is contracted in some way − resulting in continued low wages creating challenges for emerging workers.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Guatemala has minimal regulation as nearly 50% of its workforce is employed in agriculture where child labor remains prevalent. While cost may be low, regulatory factors and lack of skills can make the market less favored for engagement.

Top 5 – Regulation

Britain’s decision earlier this year to leave the European Union raised concerns about the potential for regulatory impact on both existing engagements and future procurement. That the UK is no longer subject to regulation by the European Union is an example of how regulatory decisions in one market can affect not only the workforce dynamics of other markets but also have global hiring implications.

Singapore, Denmark, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Austria rank in the top five positions in Regulation. In particular, New Zealand ranks third here but first globally in the Total Workforce Index™ when all four categories are combined. Favorable regulatory environments are created when many types of workforce engagement are available to organizations and maximum contract lengths, notice periods and severance requirements are minimal or not required. Because New Zealand requires none of these, they are ranked first globally in ‘ease of doing’ businesses.

More relaxed regulatory factors make this and similar markets more competitive for future investment in local employment. This is especially important in markets where the competition for certain skills is high. Some of these markets even have legislation that gives preferential visa treatment to immigrants with skills considered part of a current skills shortage.

Top 5 – Productivity

Productivity is a category influenced by all three of the other categories. When the perfect mix of Availability, Cost Efficiency, and Regulation align with business workforce planning initiatives, optimal productivity goals can be met or even exceeded. However, the top five markets for productivity may not necessarily be the case in all industries and sectors of business.

Recent trends suggest that market productivity has less to do with the simple benefits associated with the size of an economy, access to capital or technology availability within a certain market. Instead it may have more to do with technological readiness, available methods of workforce engagement − the ability to run manufacturing operations twenty-four hours a day for example − and both infrastructure and institutional efficiency.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel lead in this category, with the United States and Canada rounding out the top five markets. Adaptability, speed and innovation can also impact productivity, however a significant portion of the potential productivity of each market depends upon the human element of the equation.

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™