ABU DHABI, The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and 21st globally on the Global Labour Resilience Index 2020, which was issued in Davos, Switzerland during a special session held on the sidelines of the 50th summit meeting of the World Economic Forum in the presence of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and officials and economic leaders from more than 30 countries.
Following the release of the report, the UAE has officially climbed 12 places on the index's overall rating over the past five years, up from 33 in 2015, and it is the only GCC country to rank among the top 30 countries the year. Bahrain is the nearest Gulf nation to the UAE and ranked 15 places below in 36th for the year.
The Global Labour Resilience Index measures the level of future unemployment risks that countries face based on geographical disparities, structural shifts, policy and technology changes and their impact on the labour market; with the report for the current year ranking 145 countries and economies on the flexibility of their labour markets in light of the technological transformation.
The index was led by Whiteshield Partners, a London-based consultancy firm that specialises in global public policy and strategy, in cooperation with the Oxford University SaAd Business School, ManpowerGroup, and the UK Institute for the Future of Work.
During the launching session of the index on the sidelines of the Davos 2020 meetings, Al Mansouri said that the UAE has followed a development path based on the vision and directions of the country's wise leadership.
He explained the country has achieved continuous development in economic policies and business sector strategies, increased the resilience of the labour market and raised its ability to adapt to economic and social changes and global transformations as a result of technological and digital revolution over the past ten years, and occupied a leading position at the regional level in this vital path that charts the future economies of the next stage.
Al Mansouri added, "The UAE's achievements on the Global Labour Resilience Index 2020 is a testament to the national economy as it has made great strides in enhancing its economic potential in the digital age and improving its ability to confront the widespread economic changes at international level. This includes the ability to keep pace with progress in economic complexity, and adopting a knowledge economy model that focuses on the know-how needed to produce goods and services, diversify exports, increase the diversification of the economic base and reduce dependence on oil."
Al Mansoori highlighted that the Index carries great importance as it provides an invaluable tool for measuring the readiness of labor markets for the fluctuations that the world is currently experiencing or will face in the future whether due to technological transformations, economic impacts of geopolitical changes, trade disputes or economic retreats.
He emphasised that the UAE's respective rankings on the index are the result of the efforts made by the country to improve its labor market capacity to adapt and respond to new economic trends; pointing out that the state has focused on stimulating innovation and creativity, supporting research and development activities, upgrading the intellectual property system, improving the business and investment environment, and enhancing its position and reputation as a global destination for talents, experiences and people with distinguished skills.
He also stressed that the UAE's Government is going ahead with its development policies that stimulate further adoption of technology solutions in relation to information and communication.
The Global Labour Resilience Index is divided into two main axes, each of which includes several sub-indicators. The first is the axis of structures and includes indicators related to demographics, economic development, capabilities, economic diversification and inequality. The second axis, which is the policy axis, includes indicators related to education, skills, employment, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and statistics.
Switzerland ranked first globally on the index for this year, followed by Singapore in second and the United States in third. Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany finished fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively; while Finland ranked eighth, and the United Kingdom and Belgium completed the top 10 ranked countries.
Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organisation, ILO, said: "The Global Labour Market Resilience Index highlights the importance of having appropriate policies to improve resilience. Many countries have improved their response to these policies in recent years through employment, skills development, social protection and other measures."
He also pointed out that the global unemployment rate has decreased from 5.2 per cent to 4.9 per cent. He said the biggest task moving forward is to create an influx of jobs that provide favorable opportunities and increase productivity to ensure workers do not hinder their professional development in low-quality jobs; adding this will require a comprehensive approach to government and the active participation of labor market representatives and other stakeholders.
Fadi Farra, Co-Founder and Partner at Whiteshield Partners who co-leads the Global Labour Resilience Index report, said: "We need a new approach at the local level to engage citizens, businesses and policy makers in order to sustain flexibility throughout the labor market."
According to the report, Nepal, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt were among the five topmost countries that have a gap in labour market resilience, emphasising the difference between long-term structural characteristics, short-term policies, and the great potential of each to enhance the resiliency of its labour markets in order to enable targeted and relevant policies and reforms, economic diversification, labour policies, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Source: Emirates News Agency