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US ninth in global war for talent

December 19 2013

The United States is falling behind Europe in producing, retaining and attracting talent, according to the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index. As the largest of the countries in the top 10, the U.S. ranked ninth in the index.

The index features 103 countries and measures a nation’s competitiveness based on the quality of talent it develops, attracts and retains. It is published by INSEAD and based on research co-conducted with the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore and Adecco Group.

The top 10 list was heavily dominated by European nations with only two other countries outside Europe — Singapore and the United States — taking a spot. Canada ranked 11th.

Ten best performers:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Netherlands
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Finland
  9. United States
  10. Iceland

Key findings around the U.S. talent landscape included:

  • The U.S. ranked third globally in the growth portion of the index which reviewed access to formal education, the quality of top universities in a country and the number of students who enroll in a college or university; the U.S. was average in math, reading and science scores and fell short in pupil-to-teacher ratios.
  • Within the enablers portion, the U.S. ranked first in labor market flexibility, second in the overall business landscape, third in the ease of doing business and fourth in the overall market landscape, which looked at factors including competition and innovation.
  • The U.S. was the global leader in the ratio of female professionals and technical workers to their male counterparts and was among the world leaders in the global knowledge portion (seventh) with a high level of legislators, senior officials and managers (second).
  • The U.S. ranked third globally in productivity per employee.
  • Youth employment rates could present a serious concern as the U.S. ranked 36th.

“In today’s global economy, it’s become increasingly clear how important talent is as a resource,” said Bob Crouch, chief executive officer of Adecco Group North America. “This Index shows that there are areas where the United States is excelling, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to attracting the best and the brightest. The public and the private sectors must work together to determine what the future workforce will need to excel through education and an understanding of the skills employers will need in the future.”

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