Regulatory factors influence the potential of a market to yield productivity and cost-efficiency. When a market is heavily regulated but highly cost-effective, with regards to wage levels, it may become more expensive than markets with less regulation due to loss of productivity.


Calculating Workforce Regulation

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 Regulation

While each of the category rankings looks at a single aspect of the labor force, the regulatory framework of a labor market is potentially the most influential overall. This is because it impacts each of the other categories to some degree. The top markets for regulatory ease are certainly not the largest workforce economies, and the maturity of their regulations does not allow for any overlap among the most cost-efficient markets.

Australia, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore all rank among the top 10 for both workforce availability and regulation for the second year in a row. New Zealand and Singapore also ranking among the top 10 markets for productivity and except for a swap between the United Kingdom and Ireland (now in 6th and 7th, respectively), the rankings for this category remain the same year-over-year.

Again, while not necessarily among the world’s largest workforce economies, each of these markets represents an above average opportunity for organizations looking to drive workforce strategy through labor arbitrage.

Comparison of the Top Five Markets for Workforce Regulation

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 Regulation Over Time


2017 Top 10 2018 Top 10 2019 Top 10











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