2.0 Highlights

2019/20 Key findings

3.0 Understanding the Index

Seven Indicators


4.0 Discover


5.0 Calculate & Compare

Comparison Tool

6.0 Insights


Summary 1 image

The Hays Global Skills Index (the ‘Index’) is an annual assessment of the issues and trends impacting skilled labour markets, examining the dynamics at play across 34 markets and determining how easy or difficult it is for organisations to find the skilled professionals they need.

In addition to the deep analysis of some of the world’s largest labour markets, the report highlights several factors impacting economies globally, including wage stagnation and its potential causes, the disappearance of mid-skilled jobs and the effects of occupational gender segregation.

This year’s Index, the eighth edition to date, reveals two pressures are having particularly important and opposing impacts on skilled labour markets around the world. Talent mismatches are worsening in many of the labour markets featured within the Index, at the same time wage premiums paid for high-skilled occupations are typically easing. The divide between the skills held by jobseekers and those sought by employers continues to grow and is evidenced by our talent mismatch Indicator, which has increased in 16 of the 34 featured labour markets this year.

In contrast, the wage premium paid to workers in high-skilled occupations has widely fallen, relative to those in low-skilled roles. Whether this is driven by stagnating wages in high-skilled roles, or stronger wage growth among low-skilled occupations, differs from labour market to labour market.

One positive development of recent years has been the widespread drop in unemployment rates across the economies in the Index. However, this decline in the number of jobseekers has not typically seen an increase in wages, as might have been expected. This report investigates some of the potential causes including; the increased concentration of firms geographically, outsourcing, and the rise of machines in many workplaces.

Outsourcing and automation are also having other impacts on skilled labour markets. In many industrialised economies, they are driving the disappearance of the ‘mid-skilled’ job – leading to a hollowing out of the labour market. As many roles remain highly gendered, the implications of this job polarisation for female and male workers – and their wages – may differ greatly, as this report explores.

Also outlined are some of the most important challenges facing the global labour market at present, as failure to address these issues will only exacerbate the global skills dilemma further. Continued access to skilled labour and the development of a robust talent pipeline will provide businesses with the opportunity to thrive and allow for long-term economic success.