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 the 75 markets within the 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 as 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. However, there is something greater to consider regarding these workforces.

Australia, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore all rank among the top 10 for both workforce availability and regulation, with New Zealand and Singapore also ranking among the top 10 markets for productivity. Again, while not necessarily among the world’s largest workforce economies, each of these represents an above average opportunity for organizations looking to drive workforce strategy through labor arbitrage.

The United Kingdom is new to the top ten this year following an increase in this markets Regulation score. This increase can be attributed to improvements in several geopolitical factors that contribute to the Regulation score of each market. This coupled with reduced uncertainty in the United Kingdom overall is leading to increased investment in this market.

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 2017 vs 2018 for Workforce Regulation


2017 Top 10 2018 Top 10











Let's Discuss Your Workforce Strategy

Find out how we can help with your workforce strategy, including how to get a customized index for your organization.