ManpowerGroup Solutions today released its third Contingent Workforce Index (CWI), which tracks the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining contingent workforce in 75 countries.
In this latest report, New Zealand takes the top spot, demonstrating the most optimal characteristics for use of contingent labor: Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity. The US remains in second place for the second consecutive year, and Canada moves from seventh to third. Rounding out the top five are Hong Kong and Israel.
China and India moved down on this year’s rankings, shifting from third to 21st and from sixth to ninth, respectively, due to input from global employers who have consistently placed more value on the quality of the workforce over the volume of available workers.
“This year, the shifting priorities of clients had a greater impact on the CWI rankings than ever before,” says Kate Donovan, senior vice-president of ManpowerGroup Solutions. “Business leaders are paying more attention to talent shortages, particularly the potential for a shrinking workforce due to an aging population.
“Rising in importance is a population’s English proficiency, given the increased costs that result when proficiency is low,” she adds. “These shifting priorities have resulted in major swings among the most optimal markets for businesses seeking to use a contingent workforce, and the Index is a great tool for ManpowerGroup Solutions and our clients for determining where to expand business operations.”
Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of Manpower SA, says South Africa still features in the top 25 countries in the index.
“The South African labour market continues to be challenged by high unemployment and an ongoing skills deficit,” she says.  Despite this, the country still remained within the top 25 – this year at number 19. It is imperative that provincial government and the private sector continue to support employment through skills training, and support for small-, medium- and macro-enterprises in order to maintain and create further growth within the job market.
“This kind of support for the country’s job market, paired with increased foreign investment will increase South Africa’s CWI,” Van den Barselaar says.
• APAC: China showed the biggest movement in the region, falling from second in 2014 to 10th this year. The key driver of this movement is the increased emphasis on English Proficiency and educational parameters.
• AMERICAS: The overall CWI rankings in the Americas region remained relatively constant from 2014 to 2015, with the US, Canada and Chile remaining in the top three positions for the region.
• EMEA: There was significant movement in the EMEA rankings this year. Israel moved from fourth to first, Ireland from sixth to second, the UAE from first to third and the UK from second to fourth. South Africa, which was previously one of the top three countries, dropped to sixth place, driven by a drop in both the Regulation and Cost Efficiency categories.