Employees Becoming More and More Mobile

By January 12, 2012

This year more and more of the global workforce will be mobile workers. With a few exceptions, most countries will see growth in mobile working.


The number of mobile workers in the world is expected to continue rising in the coming years. According to a recent report from the International Data Corporation, this category of employees will number 1.3 billion, or 37.2 % of the global workforce, in 2015. This figure just passed the billion mark in 2010. "Despite recent market turmoil, mobility continues to be a critical part of the global workforce, and we expect to see healthy growth in the number of mobile workers," says Stacy Crook, senior research analyst at IDC.

China and India out in front

Mobility willbe a general trend throughout the world but the rate of growth will differ from region to region. The biggest increase should be seen in the Asia-Pacific region – excluding Japan – where the number of mobile workers is set to rise from 601.7 million in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015, mainly because of the flourishing economies of China and India. Europe, the Middle East and Africa will also record an increase in mobility, but at a lower rate, with annual growth of 5.6%, which will mean 244.6 million mobile employees in 2015 as against 186.2 million five years earlier.

United States and Japan slowing down

The Americas will experience a more modest increase in its mobile workforce, which will grow from 182.5 million people in 2010 to 212.1 million in 2015. This is due to high levels of unemployment and a slow post-crisis recovery, especially in the United States.  Some 75% of mobile workers on the continent are today in the US, with the remaining quarter divided between Canada and the Latin American countries. Basically, Japan will be one of the very few countries to see a decrease in its mobile workforce, which is set to decline at a rate of 0.2% per year. This phenomenon can be traced to the decline in the birth rate. Nevertheless, the archipelago will remain an area where mobility is firmly established, with 64.8% of all workers - some 38.6 million people – expected to fall into this category by 2015.

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