UAE Tops Arab Nations, Switzerland Leads Global Labour Resilience Index 2024

Adgully Bureau |
Against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Whiteshield announces the release of the Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) 2024. As the world confronts the profound challenges of global warming and the urgency of transitioning to a sustainable future, the impact on labour markets looms large. The direct consequences of climate change, including displacement, migration, and fluctuations in both physical and mental well-being, have become increasingly pervasive. In response, legislative and policy frameworks are adapting towards green sustainability, emphasizing the critical necessity for robust, inclusive labour markets. This imperative theme is thoroughly explored within the pages of GLRI 2024.


The GLRI 2024 provides insights to strengthen labour markets, preparing them to endure climate change challenges and leverage the prospects of a sustainable, green future. To balance environmental needs with labour market dynamics, policymakers must adopt a holistic strategy, integrating climate and labour policies for a smooth and equitable transition to a green economy. Key actions include strengthening social protection transfers, including provisions for unemployment benefits, disability allowances, child support, and pensions, and investing in education, training, and reskilling to equip the workforce for green jobs while addressing the potential broadening of inequalities.


This report sheds light on the nations leading in labour market resilience during this era of the green transition. Countries not only must foster labour markets capable of withstanding temporary shocks but also must possess the capacity to navigate structural trends. Labour market resilience, the ability to face and recover from disruptions to the labour market, is a cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable labour markets. The GLRI 2024 quantifies this resilience through both Structural and Cyclical pillars.


The most labour-resilient countries in the report are predominantly European, with Switzerland securing the top position. Singapore stands as the only non-European country among the leading nations. In the Middle East, the green transition is crucial for economic diversification, innovation, and trade. The UAE showcases the highest labour resilience among Arab countries, while Saudi Arabia is catching up by diversifying its economy and enhancing workforce skills.

China and India face significant challenges and opportunities. China must ensure a sufficient supply of green skills to meet job demand and protect workers during the transition, while India's extensive shift toward sustainability requires a policy framework for green jobs and an equitable transition.

The GLRI 2024 highlights several policy implications for labour markets during the green transition. As this development induces structural changes in the economy, targeted policies and effective institutions should be a catalyst to “green” the labour market. The importance of effective institutions cannot be overstated as they can foster better policy choices leading to higher labour market resilience and better environmental performance. However, while good policies and quality institutions are prevalent in high-income countries, resource-poor countries have yet to build strong institutions to seize emerging green opportunities.

Policymakers must also consider strengthening economic fundamentals for labour markets to capitalize on emerging green opportunities. Macroeconomic stability, trade resilience, and governance structures enable workers and firms to adapt quickly to changes brought about by greening the economy.

Furthermore, policies should aim to curb the widening of inequalities during the green transition and mitigate potential risks associated with it. Investing in education and training is vital for a sustainable future. Public policy should work with the private sector to establish a “green skill agenda” for re-skilling and upskilling of workers and target the youth, who will be tasked to lead the green transition.

Fadi Farra, Senior Managing Partner at Whiteshield, said: “We are delighted to launch the 2024 edition of Whiteshield’s Global Labour Resilience Index, continuing our commitment to contribute essential knowledge to the ongoing discourse on sustainability. Based on extensive research, this report identifies the most labour-resilient countries, emphasizing the critical role resilient labour markets play in shaping environmental performance for a sustainable and adaptable future.”

Raed Safadi, Whiteshield’s Chief Economist, said: “The GLRI 2024 underscores the need for targeted policies and effective institutions to catalyze the 'greening' of the labour market amid structural changes in the global economy. Acting in anticipation can improve outcomes and this is where the different metrics of the Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) offer help in monitoring performance, benchmarking developments, and drawing lessons of experience on the existing policies and institutions within each of the 136 countries included in the study.”