CWI Contingent Workforce Index - 2015 Global Report - ManpowerGroup

2016 Global Analysis

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Contingent Workforce Index

2016 Global Analysis

About the Contingent Workforce Index (CWI)

The Contingent Workforce Index (CWI) measures the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining a contingent workforce in competing labor markets around the world. The CWI compiles more than 50 key data points around the Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity of each country’s contingent workforce. Then, using a proprietary formula, it assigns a numerical value to each country, comparing the relative opportunities of entering one labor market versus another.

Availability. Cost Efficiency. Regulation. Productivity.

Just as a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used as an economic indicator, the CWI may be used as an indicator of contingent workforce availability. CWI rankings provide perspective and insight that can impact both short- and long-term strategies involving contingent workforce procurement, including:

  • Capacity planning
  • Recruitment strategies
  • Location strategy
  • Workforce budget and forecasting
  • Cost-saving initiatives
  • Organizational restructuring
  • Merger and acquisition

In the global CWI analysis, an equal weight is attributed to each factor: Availability, Cost, Regulation and Productivity. A higher CWI ranking indicates that a country is likely to support higher volumes of contingent hiring, based on quality and productivity, with greater cost efficiency and ease of doing business.



Top 25 Markets for Contingent Workforce Engagement

New Zealand ranks highest for contingent workforce engagement globally, followed by Singapore, the Philippines, Israel and India. The top five markets for 2016 do not feature any countries from the Americas as the workforce volumes for countries in the other regions elevated them to the top based on more favorable Availability scores.

Graph of Top 25 Markets for Contingent Workforce Engagement


Israel now ranks 4th in 2016, up one spot from 2015, despite the increase in the weighting of notice periods and severance regulatory metrics, and an increase in USD wages when compared to other countries. Availability in many markets was affected by a higher weighting placed on the size of contingent workforces as well as the number of skilled workers in each region. Israel was no exception and decreased from 1st to 4th in Availability this year. This change in weighting for Availability also moves India from 24th in 2015 to 1st for globally due to this market’s large labor force.

Moving into the top 5 globally this year, Singapore remains ranked 3rd in the Regulation category compared to the previous year. High Productivity along with Availability creates a favorable contingent workforce environment in this market. However, the most favorable aspects here are geopolitical in nature. The low relative ease of doing business, global peace index, global terrorist indicator and global corruption CPI score, along with high contract enforcement scores, substantially reduce the risk of operating a contingent workforce strategy in Singapore. While Singapore performs exceptionally well in three of the four categories of the CWI, it is important to note, however, that the cost of doing business and average clerical, engineering and technology wages in this market are much higher than the global average.

Australia moved down in global ranking year-over-year to 16th. Though Australia continues to have one of the more favorable regulatory environments for contingent engagements, this market has reduced cost efficiency and lower availability. Australia scored favorably regarding maximum overtime, however it scored less favorably for maximum working days per week. Overall, Cost and Productivity negatively affected Australia’s score. Ranking 10th out of fourteen APAC markets for productivity, and 14th regionally for cost efficiency, reduced Australia’s overall global ranking from 11th to 16th and to the 8th position regionally this year.

Moving back up into the top 15 markets in 2016, China now ranks 6th in the APAC region despite an increase in workforce regulation and a decrease in the ease of doing business over the past year. However, China still fared well in contract enforcement and other geopolitical factors. They continue to have a well-balanced mix of relatively high workforce availability, low-cost wages and average productivity. On the other hand, Hong Kong dropped from 4th globally in 2015 to 10th in 2016 due in part to higher weighting on the availability of skilled workers and workforce size.

The United States moves from 2nd in 2015 to 6th this year, based largely on higher costs compared to other countries. However it ranks 7th globally in both Regulation and Productivity and 3rd in Availability. Higher weighting of the large workforce and positive geopolitical factors are balanced by the higher cost of these workers with regard to overtime, profit taxes and higher engineering and technology wages, among other cost-related metrics.


Regional Infographics

Americas region
EMEA region
Asia Pacific region


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