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The 2019 Future of Work Index

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The 2019 Future of Work Index

The Lisbon Council,

5 min read
4 take-aways
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Global economies evolve swiftly. Governments must provide support for a skilled workforce able to keep up with the pace of change.

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As technology rapidly disrupts industries, so too does it disrupt workers’ lives. To avoid being left behind, one thing is clear: You need to upgrade your skills. Traditional, full-time jobs are disappearing, replaced by new, flexible opportunities – if workers are ready to take advantage of them. Governments can help support individuals’ efforts by providing necessary training along the way, and by designing safety net policies that support people, while at the same time protecting businesses that in the past have shouldered much of the burden. In its 2019 Future of Work Index, the Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal compares the countries of the European Union for the health of their labor and business markets, and the flexibility of their social safety net policies to meet the challenges of a swiftly changing global economy.


Effective modern workforces include traditionally marginalized populations such as women, immigrants, youth and seniors.

The labor force has shifted from primarily male heads of household to a diverse population that includes women, immigrants, and people of all ages. This diverse workforce is demanding equal access to job opportunities and equal pay. Jobs are no longer guaranteed to be full-time, lifelong or highly paid. New jobs come as short-term or “gig” opportunities. Societies that enable people from traditionally marginalized groups to enter the workforce will reap the benefits of “rich human capital.”

The “Modern Workforce Indicator” measures how well countries engage a diverse workforce. The United Kingdom generally excels at including marginalized populations in the economy, particularly immigrants. France, Italy, Greece and Spain all have high youth unemployment. Sweden does well in including older workers and women, but lags on employing youth and, especially, immigrants. Poland and the Czech Republic do well in integrating immigrants into the workforce, however, their immigrant populations are smaller than those of Spain and Germany. France, with a 7% ...

About the Authors

The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal is a policy think tank based in Brussels.

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