1.0 Hays Global Skills Index
Introduction

The Hays Global Skills Index is the only comprehensive overview of the professional global labour market and offers insights into the challenges faced by organisations as they search for the most sought-after skilled talent. It provides insight into the employment and economic status of the 33 countries included in the report, offering insights from Hays experts across the globe.

On this site, you can use the Index to compare the scores for each individual country, including a breakdown of the seven indicators that determine it.

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2.0 Summary
2018 Key findings

3.0 Understanding the Index
Seven Indicators

4.0 / discover
Countries

Country Overview

View from the Ground

Last year was a remarkable year for jobs growth in Australia, as evidenced by consistently strong vacancy activity, a falling unemployment rate, widening skill shortages and positive forward hiring intentions. It is no wonder Australia’s Overall Hays Global Skills Index score climbed for the fourth consecutive year. Demand for highly-skilled professionals and in high-skill industries now far surpasses the need for low-skill workers and in low-skill industries. Add a talent mismatch score that has grown for five...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

As Austria’s labour market participation rate is expected to grow further this year, the relative easing of the wider labour market is also set to continue. However, the pressure is still increasing, specifically in highly-skilled sectors, and we are finding that the demand for IT, life science, engineering and finance professionals has risen even further. In addition, talent mismatch has increased, which means that there is a growing discrepancy between the skills that workers in Austria have...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

We are seeing sustained growth of the economy – even though it’s limited to 1.6% – and as a result there is increased business and consumer confidence. These positive developments are encouraging companies to recruit more people and candidates to make the jump to a new job. Despite this, companies are still having trouble recruiting due to a lack of candidates, evidenced by a continuously increasing talent mismatch score. Belgium has a low unemployment rate, but those...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Challenges continue in Brazil this year, with uncertainty around elections taking centre stage against a backdrop of currency fluctuations and high economic fragility. Despite this, optimistic sentiments are creeping into the labour market with employers now firmly looking to the future. As a consequence, talent mismatch has the potential to heighten as workers with the right skills become less available. Adding to this pressure is the continued lack of flexibility in employment regulations despite the positive reforms of...
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Country Overview

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Predictions of 1.8% growth for 2018 indicate steady continued growth for Canada. Ongoing trade negotiations are creating uncertainty for many sectors that rely on the import/export market, while mercurial housing markets in most major centres are a cause for concern for many Canadian workers. Pay rates have remained largely stagnant since the 2015 oil and gas downturn, but growing demand for talent and low unemployment is driving wages up, with average pay growth reaching a six-year high in...
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Country Overview

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As a consequence of the Presidential elections last year, we saw a low level of foreign investment in 2017. However, things have now picked up and we have seen more in investment in just the first quarter of 2018 than the whole of 2017. As a result, the shortage of skilled labour has intensified as businesses look to increase their output. In order to improve the situation, Chile needs to tackle two issues in the short-term: wage...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

A gradual easing of Mainland China’s Overall Index score in recent years reflects the growing capabilities of the local labour market to meet the demands of employers in most industries and professions. However, in niche high-skill and high-tech industries (such as internet, artificial intelligence, biotech, big data, etc.), Mainland China has successfully created a rapidly-growing and extremely entrepreneurial SME sector. Well-financed start-ups with innovative products and business models are aggressively targeting top talent from multinational corporations, attracting...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Economic growth is projected to pick up to about 2.6%, due to lower interest rates, stronger infrastructure spending, lower corporate taxes and higher oil prices, which are all boosting investment. Private consumption has strengthened, as falling inflation lifts real wages. Exports improved on the back of a stronger outlook for trading partners. Unemployment started to fall and social indicators are improving, but inequality remains high. Productivity should be boosted by reforms enacted to improve the business environment...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

During the past three years, the Czech economy has experienced positive developments and ongoing growth. This growth is mainly driven by strong export and a continuous increase in household spend. The number of open vacancies continues to rise, reaching all-time maximum levels. A continuous hunger for skilled professionals is creating a shortage in the market which is putting great pressure on organisations to innovate and automate processes. We have seen a switch recently from low added-value operations...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The Danish labour market is characterised by low unemployment. However, while unemployment continues to decrease, companies are still experiencing a difficult time attracting and retaining the right talent; this points towards a high degree of talent mismatch. Increasing overall wage pressure also indicates that employers are experiencing labour shortages. Thus, there is an increasing need to attract international labour. The continued digitalisation of the workforce additionally invites employers to look across national borders in the search for...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Economic growth is expected to return to a solid pace of close to 2% over 2018-19 thanks to strong external demand and robust business confidence. Lower labour taxes and labour market reforms should encourage job creation. Inflation is projected to pick up, supported by the strengthening of the economy and an increase in wages. Employment growth proved very strong in 2017 with an extra 300,000 jobs being created. However, it should slow slightly over the next two...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The German economy continues to perform strongly. The economy has been growing continuously for years, with 2% growth this year, and the labour market is seeing the benefits of this positive development. Employment is at a record 44 million and the unemployment rate is correspondingly low at under 5% – the lowest level in years. The question now arises as to how demographic developments (baby boomers will start to retire in the coming years) and the digital...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Recruitment in Hong Kong has been active with economic growth picking up notably across 2017. Hong Kong, having one of the freest labour markets and most open economies, has continued to welcome an influx of new companies and subsidiaries, mainly from Mainland China, to create numerous headcounts in all functions. The unemployment rate has been at its lowest in 20 years and kept wage growth relatively robust at around 4% per year. Population increases and continued economic...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The domestic labour market showed intense growth in 2017 and the supply chain could hardly keep up with demand. Foreign investors verified the competitiveness and quality of the labour force in Hungary and have continued to shift operations with higher added value. The business services, engineering and manufacturing, and IT sectors are continuing to expand. Therefore, it is clear that the recruitment of technical professionals in the domestic white-collar labour market remains the biggest challenge in the...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The journey of reforms which the Government has embarked on continues this year and the impact can be seen on many fronts – for example India moved in to the top 100 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business global ranking for the fi rst time. On the other hand, the growing impact of changing geopolitical, economic and technical factors is increasingly visible on the talent strategies of corporates, as they are now focussing on future-proofing...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Ireland’s economy experienced rapid growth in 2017, boosting the demand for labour and causing the unemployment rate to fall to its lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008. The year also saw a sharp increase in wage growth, particularly in highly-skilled industries. While the early phases of the economic recovery primarily benefitted Dublin, other cities such as Cork and Limerick are attracting increased investment, both private and public. Staff  shortages remain an issue across many sectors,...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Labour market conditions have improved in Italy and the number of people employed has almost recovered to the 2008 peak. However, the employment rate remains low at 58% relative to some other European countries. While the unemployment rate has fallen from its crisis peak of just under 13% to around 11%, it remains a major concern as 33% of young people are without a job and just under 20% of those in the South of Italy are...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

There is an acute labour shortage in Japan and the working-age population is shrinking, yet it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. There are two sources of hidden slack: rising participation rates, especially females who are mainly taking up part-time employment, and immigration, with the share of foreign workers below 2% and mainly made up of students and trainees in lower paid and part-time work. Neither of these factors addresses the underlying shortage...
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Country Overview

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Luxembourg’s economy keeps growing and forecasts are currently projecting economic growth of 3.5%. There has been a decrease in the unemployment level, bringing it to a very low rate of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2018. The war for talent is more than ever defining the recruitment market in the country. As of last year, some sectors such as information technology, construction and real estate, have been doing very well. However, 2018 is seen by many...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

In 2017, we saw a strong job market with nearly all sectors experiencing a fundamental shortage of skilled talent throughout the country. Candidates have many options when looking for new jobs; salary and benefits along with the work culture of the business being key factors when deciding to join new businesses. Employers are more willing to give dramatic pay rises to new employees of between 10-20%, compared to the yearly increments they are willing to give to...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Investment continues to be constrained by high uncertainty around the outcome of ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations and the Government’s fiscal consolidation plan. Private consumption has supported growth, even though inflation eroded real wages in 2017. Turning our attention to the labour market; despite the rise of the long-term unemployment rate, there are still low rates of female participation and a growing skills mismatch. Market predictions are positive as job formalisation remains robust and the...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The number of vacancies in the Netherlands peaked in 2017. The working population showed a sharp increase versus 2016, mostly due to an increase of permanent jobs. The rebound of permanent jobs is a remarkable turnaround after years of an increasing contingent workforce. Employers focus on retention of staff in times when finding staff is difficult. This trend is supported by unclear legislation for self-employed workers. While jobs in the administrative and financial sector are still in...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Despite recent concerns over business confidence and immigration, and an increase in the minimum wage, unemployment has fallen and career-advancing opportunities are available for top talent. With employers continuing to add to their teams, the demand for highly-skilled professionals will rise. However, such talent is already in short supply. Add a high labour market participation rate and employers have a smaller pool of workers to choose from. As our findings show, talent mismatch is already an issue...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

New investments, expansion of existing production plants and the development of the business services sector are increasing recruitment activity in the Polish labour market. Poland is also at the forefront of European countries with the forecast of the highest employment growth – regardless of the size of company, region or industry. At the same time, increasingly more companies struggle with the lack of suitable candidates. This deficit has already negatively impacted the economy. There are many indications...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

As the economy gains traction and the unemployment rate reaches its lowest level in 14 years, a shortage of candidates for high-skill industries is becoming a national issue and the competition between organisations for the best talent is now stronger than ever. It is imperative that all participants in the labour market work together to tackle this issue, otherwise it will soon impact our collective ability to grow and to seize all the opportunities this positive economic...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Despite the volatile economic and geopolitical situation in Russia, the labour market is coming out of its crisis. 2018 began with a drop in unemployment, while companies started to hire actively. The FIFA World Cup and local projects (such as elections and sanctions) increased the demand for temporary staff and competition increased among employers in this segment. Attention should be drawn to the growing salary gap between highly-skilled professionals and other jobseekers. Today, employers want to attract and retain...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

The last few years has seen Singapore’s economic growth slow, as the nation felt the effects of its susceptibility to global trade movements. However, the recent uplift in hiring will continue to increase throughout 2018 and beyond. The Government’s continued drive towards ensuring Singapore’s transformation into a leading digital innovative economy means that demand, and therefore wages in highly-skilled occupations that support this initiative, continue to rise. The available talent pool for Singapore employers to tap into...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Modern Spain attracts significant investment due to the talent available in the country. Geographically well located with excellent transport infrastructure and high living standards, the reduction in labour costs in recent years has improved the ranking of Spain when multinationals consider expansion or relocation. Local workers are traditionally well educated despite a lack of change agility in the public education sector, and the country attracts a wide base of international talent. Political instability has not affected economic...
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Country Overview

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Sweden overall is in rather good shape. Financially the country is stable and has been over the last few years, despite some alarm bells ringing. Sweden accepted a large number of migrants a few years ago, which created a larger pool of workers but not necessarily ones with the skills required by employers. The risk of industry growth stagnation is also still present. High wage pressure combined with skills mismatches are one of the biggest challenges for...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Switzerland’s unemployment rate remains low; however, we are still seeing strong demand for skilled workers in particular roles. In an eff ort to address local skill shortages, and for the second year running, the Government has upped the quota of residence permits to allow companies to source more foreign workers from outside the European Union. Much like last year, we continue to expect digitalisation to create opportunities for Switzerland, leading to structural changes and a host of new...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Sentiment is increasingly positive for the UAE jobs market in 2018 as oil prices strengthen and the region continues to evolve with transformations taking place across multiple sectors. We have seen the number of available jobs to rise up modestly year-on-year across all industries, but with a significant uplift within the IT profession, as well as strong and ongoing demand for sales and executive-level professionals. IT jobs are being driven largely by an influx of investment in...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

Against a backdrop of ongoing economic uncertainty around the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the UK labour market remains healthy with record levels of employment. Regardless of the outcome of the EU negotiations, the availability of skilled labour is, and will remain, a critical issue for employers. Shortages are particularly acute in the construction industry and in technology, particularly for specialists in areas such as data and cyber security. The potential extension of IR35 reforms to the...
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Country Overview

View from the Ground

While the US economy grew at 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018, projections call for that growth to accelerate throughout the year, and economists project the annual growth rate to be around 3%. This is a good sign overall and bodes well for the employment outlook. We are seeing robust job creation exceeding predictions, and a decreasing unemployment rate to around 4% at the start of 2018, back to levels last seen before the global financial...
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6.0 Part I
Summary

6.0 Part II
Summary

The difference in average working hours and significant gender gaps between the 33 countries is prominent, the report looks at the potential reasons behind this. In all markets featured within the report, women are less likely to participate in the labour market, and when they do, they are less likely to find employment.

Birth rates are falling and life expectancy is rising across the globe, and population ageing is predicted to accelerate further in the coming years. An ageing workforce is a longer-term trend which has the potential to disrupt the business landscape dramatically in the coming years

Some of the research raises important questions, such as the fact that the share of national income that workers receive is shrinking. Could this be down to factors like machine learning, developments in AI and the growing use of robots in industry? The answer is, of course, more complex than a simple yes or no. However, in essence, we can ascertain that policy-makers must try to ensure professionals possess the right skills to take advantage of new opportunities.

To learn about these issues impacting the global skilled labour market and more, read the latest Hays Global Skills Index.