Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific region is generally considered to be a low cost option for offshoring human capital, and while that continues to be the case for the most part, consideration of regulation, skilled supply, and productivity influence which markets make sense for various employment strategies. As legislation has adapted significantly in past years, and altered labor costs in many countries like China, the strength of other labor markets’ supply and legislative framework have been significantly improved in comparison. The quality of talent and ease or labor regulations in Singapore and New Zealand have placed them in the top five, with New Zealand’s talent pool being significantly stronger due to Covid and the return of many workers who had been employed elsewhere.

Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan also have strong, but complex labor regulations that can favor many foreign employers which, coupled with their talent pools and productivity levels make these markets favorable in region despite the size of India and China’s workforce. Appropriate weighting of relevant market insight for location strategy has become both common and best practice through Covid as employers seek to balance and diversify regional investments to ensure business continuity moving forward.

Comparison of the Top Five Markets in the Asian Pacific Region

Top Five Markets in the APAC Region

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

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

Total Workforce

The Total Workforce is a combination of all the workers engaged in either Contingent or Permanent work within each country. Below, we explore the top five markets in this region overall, as well as the rankings by category. Click the country flag to view the market profile for this country.

Contingent Workforce

The Contingent Workforce is comprised of all non-permanent staff including but not limited to informal, contract, part-time or temporary labor.

more about this workforce

Permanent Workforce

The Permanent Workforce is comprised of all of the workers considered to be full-time or staff employees.

more about this workforce

Average wage, though a great tool comparison, is predominantly driven by the ratio of highly skilled jobs to lower skilled jobs. Markets with a higher volume of highly skilled jobs will average higher wages than markets with a high volume of low skilled jobs. Therefore, not all markets with lowest wage are the lowest for rates for a given skill.

Manufacturing wages are a leading indicator of rising costs as they typically rise before the wages of professional skills. Manufacturing wages are particularly sensitive to inflation and statutory burdens. Therefore, though the cost of manufacturing skills may be much lower than more highly skilled jobs, they are generally the first to reflect the rising cost of wages in a market. Due to increased digitization and automation, some markets are showing higher wage increases than others. Specifically, those driven by other industry products such as automotive and pharmaceutical.

Technology wages reflect the average take-home pay for all IT roles within any industry across the country. They do not take into account seniority and expertise. Actual wages will vary based on IT requirements and experience.

Employment tax is a basic statutory burden that employers need to add to wages when calculating the cost of skills in a workforce market. It is typically the first metric of consideration beyond the wages themselves. Wages largest component of total labor cost. However, taxes are the best indicator for total cost. They are also more representative of the labor cost per market than insurance as insurance appears more standardized, while taxes are unique to each market.

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