Total Talent Conclusion – 2019 Total Workforce Index™


The 2019 Total Workforce Index™ suggests that there is increased investment by employers hiring in low-cost markets as they continue to seek expanded candidate pools for certain skill sets. Regardless of whether markets are seeing an insurgence of hiring for administrative/clerical, manufacturing, or technical skills, the Total Workforce Index™ indicates which markets are increasing in workforce engagement and contractor utilization. Over time, observed trends within the index suggest that increased hiring activity ultimately leads to tighter regulation and higher cost. This year, as in past years, ManpowerGroup Solutions has identified several emerging markets that still offer low cost labor with higher availability.

There is consistency in the rankings of the majority of the top ten markets over the past five years. Despite movement in the annual rankings as ManpowerGroup has incorporated new factors and adjusted weightings to reflect new workforce dynamics, the top ten markets continue to remain strong from the perspective of both workforce opportunity and talent sustainability. One of the consistent top performers is Hong Kong, which may seem like a paradox given recent unrest. This situation demonstrates the need to perform a deeper analysis instead of relying solely on the data.

In all, global turnover grew by 11% in manufacturing, 7% in information technology, and 9% across other sectors, while time-to-fill has increased by 26%, making retention a key component of hiring strategy. The balance of availability, cost efficiency, regulation and productivity is one that is unique to each organization. Understanding how each operating market compares can help organizations to determine, among other things:

  • Where to invest or divest
  • How to source key talent
  • When to look at remote workforce options
  • Why they should contract or employ certain skills

Global unemployment is approximately 5% and nearly one quarter of markets fall below 3.5%. Certain markets like Estonia and Israel have risen at different paces to emerge as strong workforce economies. These markets have increased in ranking driven primarily by technology and engineering talent availability that more employers are discovering and tapping into to offset the lack of available talent in other markets.

Turnover drove 61% of wage increases in the first half of 2019. Global wages have increased by 6% overall, and wage inflation has risen by 1.3% on average beyond annual increases (i.e., beyond cost of living annual increases).

Any organization that does not have a proactive methodology in place to infuse market data into their workforce planning would benefit from a custom Total Workforce Index™ analysis.

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Sources and Disclosures

The primary data sources for this index are all based on statistics from the ministries of labour for each of the markets within scope, the Central Intelligence Agency (U.S.), World Data Bank, Trading Economics, and internal data collected as part of ManpowerGroup global reporting efforts.

This report is intended to provide an overview of general business information relative to global employment conditions and considerations. It should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws.