GLOBAL LABOUR RESILIENCE INDEX© 2021 RANKING



Resilience during times of crisis

Whiteshield Partners launched in March 2021 its annual report on labour market resilience entitled "Global Labour Resilience Index 2021:The resilience of work amid COVID-19“. This in the context of a global pandemic that rapidly became the most significant job crisis since the Great Depression.

​ Our world is facing an unprecedented crisis with considerable long-term ramifications for which it is not prepared. Some of the key insights addressed in this year's report include:

  • A new capabilities framework for measuring labour market resilience
  • It is not only the quantity of work that is important but the quality and inclusiveness In the top 10, Germany has experienced a jump in labour market resilience
  • Small countries have a resilience advantage as do countries with higher levels of decentralisation

A capability-based framework for understanding and assessing labour market resilience
The 2021 edition of the Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) introduces a new framework for labour market resilience that places an emphasis on the key capabilities required for countries to better prepare for both shorter-term shocks such as COVID-19 and longer-term stresses such as technological disruptions and green transitions.

Resilience can be generally defined as the capability to withstand all forms of disruptions. However, the specific capabilities that make a system resilient can vary depending on the type of disruption.

For instance, the capabilities needed to ensure labour market resilience to a long-term stress such as technological disruption will be different from those needed during a short-term shock such as COVID-19.


GLRI 2021 framework





Resilient labour markets display a high quantity and quality of jobs
A low unemployment rate alone is not indicative of a resilient labour market. Here again, the USA is a case in point. The unemployment rate jumped from a 50-year low of 3.5% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April, the highest level since January 1948. However, by November 2020 it was down to 6.7%. The persistent high level of unemployment is explained in part by structural challenges related to high numbers of low skilled, expendable workers in roles that are highly vulnerable to economic shocks. There is a strong correlation between performance in the GLRI 2021 and a combined metric of unemployment rates and labour productivity (a proxy for labour market performance).


Relationship between labour resilience and labour market performance



European countries dominate the GLRI top 10
Switzerland tops the GLRI 2021 rankings based on its strong and balanced performance across all dimensions of the labour market resilience framework. Germany is ranked second overall with an outstanding performance on structural front (1st) cemented by high economic complexity. The Netherlands has entered the top three most resilient labour markets largely because of structural improvements related to greater economic diversification with a leading position in Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCAs). Singapore (4th) is the only non-European country to rank in the top 10, ranking highest on absorptive capabilities. The Nordic countries of Denmark and Sweden rank 5th and 6th respectively. Austria ranks 7th, benefiting in part from a relatively younger population compared to its European neighbours. Finland, Luxembourg, and Norway complete the index ranking 8th, 9th, and 10th.



GLRI 2021 Top 10

The small country advantage
The top 10 ranking of the GLRI is dominated by smaller countries, with the exception of Germany. On the one hand, smaller countries seem to enjoy a number of cyclical resilience advantages. This can be explained by several factors ranging from lower spatial disparities, greater government closeness to the population, and the relative speed and ease of regulation and policy implementation. Smaller countries in the top 10 perform particularly well on their transformation capabilities demonstrating a strong orientation towards innovation, digital and green transitions.
On the other hand, the small size of a country can be a threat to labour market resilience by increasing risk exposure and dependency on other countries which can translate into structural vulnerabilities. For instance, a simple comparison between Singapore and the Netherlands, two top 5 GLRI performers, indicates how small countries might be exposed to higher structural risks. While Singapore ranks higher than the Netherlands on absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capabilities, it ranks lower in structural capabilities (8th against 2nd) due to higher trade vulnerability with relatively low export diversification (62nd). Singapore also demonstrates how small countries can face higher vulnerabilities through global linkages in areas beyond trade such as continued access to a skilled labour force.


GLRI 2021 Top 10 by pillar performance and size

Country Glri Score (0 to 100) GLRI Rank Structural Score Structural rank Cyclical Score Cyclical rank
Switzerland 78.8 1 79 4 79 1
Germany 78.3 2 80 1 77 4
Netherlands 78.2 3 79 2 78 2
Singapore 77.7 4 78 8 78 3
Denmark 76.6 5 76 10 77 5
Sweden 76.1 6 77 9 75 7
Austria 75.1 7 79 5 73 10
Finland 74.6 8 74 20 75 8
Luxembourg 74.1 9 75 13 73 9
Norway 73.7 10 68 31 76 6
Belgium 73 11 75 16 72 12
UK 72.9 12 74 18 72 11
France 72.8 13 75 12 72 14
USA 72 14 74 19 71 15
Ireland 70.9 15 76 11 68 19
Canada 70.3 16 68 30 71 16
Japan 69.8 17 75 17 67 20
Slovenia 69.5 18 78 6 65 23
Korea 69.3 19 78 7 65 24
Iceland 69 20 65 41 71 17
Israel 68.6 21 72 23 67 21
Czechia 68.5 22 79 3 63 27
New Zealand 67.3 23 59 63 72 13
Malta 66.8 24 68 33 66 22
Australia 65.9 25 57 70 70 18
Estonia 65.8 26 71 25 63 28
Spain 65.3 27 69 29 63 26
Poland 64.8 28 75 15 60 35
Malaysia 64.8 29 70 27 62 30
Portugal 64.4 30 64 44 64 25
Slovakia 64.2 31 75 14 59 38
Italy 63.4 32 71 26 60 34
China 63 33 73 21 58 42
Thailand 62.9 34 72 24 58 41
UAE 62.8 35 64 45 62 29
Hungary 62.8 36 72 22 58 43
Cyprus 61.8 37 64 47 61 32
Latvia 61.6 38 67 36 59 37
Croatia 61.1 39 68 32 57 45
Lithuania 60.8 40 67 35 57 44
Bulgaria 60.2 41 64 46 58 39
Romania 59.8 42 66 39 57 49
Mauritius 59.5 43 60 62 59 36
Serbia 59 44 65 40 56 51
Mexico 58.7 45 68 34 54 56
Qatar 58.3 46 60 61 57 46
Costa Rica 58.2 47 54 87 60 33
Chile 57.8 48 51 103 61 31
Kazakhstan 57.6 49 61 56 56 52
Russia 57.5 50 60 59 56 50
Turkey 56.9 51 66 37 52 68
Seychelles 56.4 52 53 95 58 40
Uruguay 56.3 53 55 79 57 48
Vietnam 56.2 54 62 52 53 62
Georgia 56.2 55 54 84 57 47
Moldova 55.9 56 60 60 54 60
Philippines 55.9 57 65 43 52 73
Azerbaijan 55.3 58 56 74 55 55
Jordan 55.3 59 63 48 51 75
Panama 55.2 60 54 83 56 54
Indonesia 55.1 61 61 55 52 70
Saudi Arabia 54.9 62 63 49 51 76
Montenegro 54.9 63 53 92 56 53
Kyrgyzstan 54.8 64 61 57 52 71
North Macedonia 54.8 65 59 64 53 65
Ukraine 54.6 66 63 50 50 78
India 54.2 67 70 28 46 94
Argentina 54 68 55 76 53 61
Greece 53.9 69 56 75 53 63
Egypt 53.8 70 65 42 48 85
Armenia 53.7 71 53 93 54 59
Peru 53.7 72 53 94 54 58
Albania 53.4 73 56 73 52 69
Colombia 52.8 74 54 89 52 67
Oman 52.8 75 50 107 54 57
Brazil 52.8 76 52 98 53 64
Lebanon 52.3 77 63 51 47 90
Botswana 52.1 78 61 58 48 87
Bahrain 52.1 79 54 91 51 74
Cape Verde 52 80 55 78 50 77
Trinidad & Tobago 51.8 81 56 72 50 80
El Salvador 51.8 82 59 65 48 84
Kuwait 51.8 83 57 69 49 83
Tunisia 51.7 84 62 53 47 93
Jamaica 51.5 85 49 110 53 66
Rwanda 51.4 86 55 80 50 81
Dominican Republic 50.9 87 58 67 47 89
Morocco 50.6 88 57 71 48 88
Mongolia 50.3 89 47 118 52 72
Sri Lanka 50.1 90 54 86 48 86
Nepal 50 91 66 38 42 106
South Africa 50 92 50 106 50 79
B&H 49.8 93 62 54 44 98
Kenya 49.4 94 54 85 47 91
Paraguay 48.6 95 48 114 49 82
Tajikistan 48.4 96 58 66 43 101
Namibia 47.9 97 52 100 46 96
Tanzania 47.1 98 55 77 43 103
Guatemala 46.9 99 54 90 43 100
Ecuador 46.5 100 46 124 47 92
Senegal 46.4 101 52 101 44 99
Bangladesh 46.1 102 54 88 42 105
Ghana 45.8 103 45 126 46 95
Bolivia 45.7 104 46 123 46 97
Pakistan 45.4 105 57 68 39 111
Honduras 44.7 106 48 115 43 102
Lesotho 44.5 107 55 81 39 112
Nicaragua 43.9 108 48 113 42 107
Gambia 43.8 109 55 82 38 115
Algeria 43.7 110 49 111 41 108
Iran 43.4 111 52 96 39 114
Laos 43.2 112 51 104 40 110
Cambodia 43.1 113 44 130 43 104
Uganda 42.2 114 50 105 38 117
Zimbabwe 41.2 115 51 102 36 122
Benin 41.1 116 48 117 38 118
Madagascar 40.9 117 47 120 38 119
Mali 40.8 118 52 99 35 126
Myanmar 40.6 119 50 108 36 123
Malawi 40.4 120 45 127 38 116
Guinea 40.1 121 47 121 37 120
Ethiopia 39.4 122 48 116 35 127
Mauritania 39.3 123 48 112 35 130
Burkina Faso 39.3 124 47 122 36 125
Liberia 39.3 125 47 119 35 128
Côte d'Ivoire 39.2 126 50 109 34 131
Zambia 39.2 127 37 134 40 109
Nigeria 39.2 128 39 132 39 113
Burundi 38.7 129 52 97 32 133
Cameroon 38.7 130 44 129 36 124
Venezuela 36.8 131 40 131 35 129
Mozambique 35 132 32 136 37 121
Angola 34.2 133 38 133 33 132
Haiti 33.8 134 44 128 29 135
Yemen 30.6 135 45 125 23 136
Chad 30.2 136 33 135 29 134

For more information on the report please contact GLRI@whiteshieldpartners.com
For media enquiries please contact media@whiteshieldpartners.com