in 2017


Key drivers

Labour market participation (9.2)

Colombia’s participation rate growth is forecast to slow considerably compared to historical norms this year.




Labour market flexibility (7.9)

Colombia’s higher labour market score has been driven in part by a deteriorating labour freedom score.

Education flexibility (5.4)

The share of graduates in Colombia’s population rose notably in the previous year, easing the pressure on employers seeking skilled workers.


Education flexibility


Labour market participation


Labour market flexibility


Talent mismatch


Overall wage pressure


Wage pressure in high-skill industries


Wage pressure in high-skill occupation


Luis Fernando

Regional Director, Hays Colombia

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 and the quality of education. Further eff orts to reduce labour market informality, such as reducing non-wage labour costs and to reduce gender gaps by expanding childcare provisions, should make growth more inclusive.

Luis Fernando, Regional Director, Hays Colombia

COUNTRY profile

The growth rate of Colombian GDP continued to slow in 2017, standing at 1.8%.

This trend is mirrored by the labour market, with little annual growth in employment in the latter months of 2017 and in early 2018. As a result, the numbers unemployed are forecast to remain around the 2.4 million level in 2018.

The quantity of skilled labour available to employers is being altered by two competing factors. It is being boosted by robust population increases, while these are being partially offset by falling labour force participation rates. As a result, the size of the workforce (working age adults that are either working or looking for work) in 2018 stood at its highest level since 2009.

Key skills in demand

  • Finance Directors
  • Business Unit Managers
  • Java Developers
  • QA Lead/QA Engineers
  • Cyber Security Directors