Switzerland is first, Yemen last and Northern Europe the top region in a new evaluation of how nations foster their work forces.
Global job problems –
The project stemmed from conversations about the global jobs problem — particularly youth unemployment and regional skills gaps — and how countries can better invest in current and future workers. The researchers focused on life-long investment in an individual, from birth through death, including areas such as early-childhood education, access to health care and training throughout a worker’s career. They tapped public data, such as labor force participation rates, school enrollment rates, infant mortality and life expectancies, as well as findings from World Economic Forum surveys of business executives.
The authors created a Human Capital Index, based on 51 variables, and found the strongest countries were concentrated in Northern Europe and North America. (Canada placed 10th; the U.S. was 16th.) The countries with the most work to do were largely in the Middle East and Africa.
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