Workforce availability is an essential consideration when evaluating potential markets. Consider this: If the labor pool in the market you are considering cannot meet the volume of talent required, does it matter that the market may be more cost-efficient, have more flexible regulations or a higher production capacity?


Calculating Workforce Cost Efficiency

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.

Top Ten Markets for Total Workforce Cost Efficiency

Cost efficiency is a factor most organizations set as a primary consideration when evaluating markets for cost efficiency. Where specialized skills and language proficiencies are not as strongly desired these markets offer a significant opportunity for cost savings where wages and other cost impacting factors are the primary focus.

The Philippines, which ranks well consistently across the other categories is also an exception to the rule which impacts most cost-efficient market. Typically, these markets do not fair as well in the regulatory, availability and productivity categories. This could be due to having less mature workforces or lacking the education and language proficiencies evident in other markets. The Philippines rises to the top tanking in cost efficiency from a rank of second in 2019 and third in 2018. This is due to additional investments that the Philippines has made into its workforce over the past few years allowing this market to emerge as a global leader.

Cost efficiency may remain a primary influencer driving new investments in this market. However, the availability of skills and English proficiency has continued to improve. While Thailand slips to fifth behind Vietnam, a rising star in the global talent landscape boasting high productivity and cost rankings.

Comparison of the Top Five Markets for Workforce Cost Efficiency

Size of the bubble reflects the Relative Availability of each market, while the color reflects Relative Regulation

  • Minimal Regulatory Impact
  • Moderate Regulatory Impact
  • Restrictive Regulatory Impact

Comparison of Top 10 in Workforce Cost Efficiency Over Time


2017 Top 10 2018 Top 10 2019 Top 10 2020 Top 10











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