The balance between productivity and cost is a delicate one to strike in any market. Consider this: In many cases the market with lower wages may become more expensive, based on the length of the work day and number of days in the week as well as the associated overtime costs.


Calculating Workforce Productivity

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 Productivity

Workforce markets with longer workdays (or more hours in the workweek) offer increased opportunities for higher levels of productivity without the additional cost associated with overtime premiums. However, these top ranked markets did not receive top ranking based on the number of available work hours at the regular wage alone. Other workforce considerations considered include: more stable labor markets, higher levels of infrastructural and technological efficiency and a multitude of other factors.

In some cases, productivity is even directly driven by labor-market growth. The United Arab Emirates, for example, has a largely migrant workforce. It’s become a hub for the Middle East, attracting skills from other markets such as India and as far as the United States. This market is demonstrating very large growth and is expected to expand its workforce by 30% over the course of the next decade.

Singapore experienced labor productivity growth which may have risen to its highest level in over seven years. This growth has been seen mainly in externally-oriented sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale trade, finance and insurance. Continued growth increases the ranking of Singapore to second globally, up one position from 2018.

Comparison of the Top Five Markets for Workforce Productivity

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 for Workforce Productivity Over Time


2017 Top 102018 Top 102019 Top 10











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