Category: Demographics

Demographic drivers

Some countries are in pole position, while others are in danger of crashing out. The global labour force (the number of 15-70 year olds willing to work) is slowing down.

In terms of the contribution to financial returns in US dollars, we estimate the global labour force will be stagnant over the next decade, down 1% compared with previous decades

A global trend

Over the last forty years, the rate of growth of the global labour force has steadily declined. Over the next decade, the global labour force will grow by 1% less than in previous decades (the old ‘normal’). When we weight countries by GDP, the labour force should actually stagnate within the next five years and turn negative within the next ten.

Our calculations take into account regional differences of retirement (the UK has been delaying retirement ages for example), earnings of men and women and the fact that experienced workers tend to earn more than their junior colleagues. This allows us to create and monitor a much more accurate estimate of the global labour force.

However, while these calculations show the ‘what’, they miss the ‘why’. Looking at the key drivers of labour force growth (or lack of growth) can illuminate how and why they impact countries in different ways.

Download the full article