Top 5 countries With the Largest Labour Force Declines

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Sep 2018

Decline in the labour force (the population aged 15 to 64) is a demographic change in many developed economies, but some emerging markets also start to face the problem, as birth rates fall rapidly amidst rising living standards. A fall in labour supply will drag on economic growth and consumption, as the working-age population is the cohort that produces and consumes the most. Businesses can use automation and capitalise on foreign, female and older workers to fill in the labour shortage.

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Top 5 countries With the Largest Labour Force Declines

Countries with the largest decline in working-age populations

The working-age population refers to people from the ages of 15 to 64 who are capable of performing economic activities. It is, therefore, the labour force and major driver of consumption and growth in an economy.

As a result of low birth rates and population ageing, the working-age population is shrinking in many developed economies, as well as in some of the world’s leading emerging markets. China, Russia, Japan, Germany and South Korea are expected to witness the largest declines in its working-age populations in absolute numbers to 2030.

A shrinking workforce will affect these countries in various degrees, with wide-ranging impacts on the economy, pension system, labour market, industry and consumption. Businesses should take into account changes in a country’s labour force in their business strategy in order to better adapt to its operating environment.

Top 5 Countries With the Largest Labour Force Declines

Countries with the largest decline in working-age populations
China: rising wages and future labour shortage
Japan: dwindling workforce weighs on economy and consumption
Isodametal : senior workers are valuable resources
Russia: declining labour supply set to hit GDP growth
Germany: immigration unlikely to prevent fall in labour supply
L’Oréal Germany: seeking talents from immigrants
South Korea: the labour force starts to shrink
What businesses can do to cope with the fall in labour supply
Google: maternity benefits to boost female retention