Total Workforce Index ™: Belgium is ranked 25th (out of 75) globally in terms of workforce

Total Workforce Index : Belgium is ranked 25th (out of 75) globally in terms of workforce

How attractive and successful is our labour market? Is Belgium doing better or worse than other countries in Europe and around the world? The new global workforce ranking (Total Workforce Index™) developed by ManpowerGroup provides the answers.

90 criteria. 4 categories. One unique formula

Based on a rigorous methodology and a unique calculation formula, this index compares hiring conditions for employees (permanent and flexible) in 75 countries around the world. The experts of ManpowerGroup have awarded an average score after having meticulously assessed 90 criteria over four categories: workforce availability, labour cost, regulatory framework and productivity. 

The country achieving the highest score in this index is the one with the most attractive labour market. Belgium holds 25th place (out of 75) in the global ranking, and 14th place (out of 40) for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). In the ranking based on the composition of the workforce, our country is in 34th position for permanent staff (Permanent Workforce Index) and 32nd position for flexible staff (Contingent Workforce Index).

New Zealand and Ireland lead the way at global level and in Europe

At global level, New Zealand leads the rankings ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the USA. At European level, the top spots are held by Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands. Within the EMEA region, Belgium is behind the United Kingdom (2nd), the Netherlands (6th), and Switzerland (7th), but ahead of Germany (165th), Spain (20th), Luxembourg (21st), Italy (34th) and France (39th).

Belgium’s strengths and weaknesses

The Total Workforce Index is more than a simple score.  It highlights the strengths and weaknesses of a labour market. Belgium y can highlight the quality of its workforce through its good linguistic knowledge. However, with a workforce participation rate of 62.8% and an ageing active population, the employment market risks being faced with increasing shortages of talent in the future.

Despite the measures taken by the government to reduce the labour cost, this criterion remains the country’s Achilles heel. And this, while companies remain under constant financial pressure. Our legal framework has improved, particularly with the law on “practical and feasible work”, which offers companies more flexibility.  But at the same time, the TWI underscores the administrative burdens. Finally, Belgium could do better in terms of productivity, particularly regarding the efficiency of the labour market. However, Belgium boasts an excellent level of technical equipment.

Belgium’s scores

The Total Workforce Index analyses four dimensions of the labour market based on 90 criteria:

  • workforce availability (size of the active population, literacy rate, unemployment rate, demography, education, linguistic knowledge, gender gaps, etc.)
    ⇒Belgium holds 18th place at global level and 13th place within EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia).

  • labour cost (average monthly wages, labour tax, the cost of overtime, wage equality between men and women, etc. 
    ⇒ Belgium holds 65th place globally and is 33rd within EMEA.

  • regulatory framework (contract lengths, notice periods or termination fees, pension age, terrorist or financial risks, political context, administrative burden, etc.) 
    ⇒ Belgium ranks 10th globally and 6th within EMEA.

  • productivity (daily and weekly working hours, night work, overtime, paid holidays, efficiency of the labour market, infrastructure, Internet connections, etc.)
    ⇒ Belgium holds 53rd place globally and 27th place within EMEA.

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