Workers are feeling the pressure to maintain their comfortable life amid the current cost of living crisis. The cost of living is soaring while salaries remain relatively stable.
In fact, the global inflation rate has driven the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers up by 8.6% in the last year, while salaries have only increased by 5.2% in this same time frame.
Although throughout the country there have been salary increases in response to the rapid increase in inflation, a gap remains between the cost of living and the majority of employees’ annual incomes.
This made us consider whether the United States really is one of the best countries to work in, or whether a move overseas would provide better workplace benefits and higher earning potential.
As it turns out, the U.S. did not make the cut. It finished at the bottom of the list as a result of poor workplace benefits compared to the majority of European nations and high cost of living.
Top 20 countries to work in
It turns out that for the best work-life balance, Luxembourg is the country to live in. With an average salary of $81,110 and the most generous statutory sick pay policy at 89 weeks on 100% pay, the European economic powerhouse famed for its award-winning wines provides the best opportunities for employees to live comfortably.
The Netherlands, with its flat landscape of canals and tulip fields and famed for its cycling routes is revealed as the 2nd best country to work in, regardless of profession. The country finished in the top 3. That’s thanks to its good statutory sick pay benefits (104 weeks at 70% of salary) and an 80.1% employment rate.
Rounding out the top 3 is Norway, with the lowest standard working hours of any country considered, at only 33.4 hours per week, allowing employees to make the most of their free time with family and friends.
Employees in Norway are able to enjoy their time outside of work with a generous salary of $84,090, the 3rd highest average salary in our study.
Key benefits in the top 10 countries
While the island of Bermuda off the U.S. East Coast has the highest average salary of all countries considered in the ranking at $116,540, it also has the highest cost of living. The Cost Of Living Index gives the British island territory a score of 141.74, making the island, known for its pink sandy beaches, 40% more expensive to live in than New York City.
Switzerland, although it failed to make the top 10, is the country with the highest annual salaries for high-ranking positions in a number of professions. High-ranking healthcare professionals can expect to earn an average of $195,465.
However, the alpine country missed out on a spot in the top 10. That was because of poor paternity leave policies and the high cost of living. The country ranked as the 2nd most expensive to live in. It ranked behind Bermuda, with the cost of living averaging 10% more than in New York City.
The U.S. didn’t make the cut though, despite having the 6th highest average salary. The U.S. offers fewer workplace benefits than many European nations. That, coupled with the high cost of living and higher unemployment rates, put it at the bottom of the overall list.
The U.S. offers fewer workplace benefits than many European nations. That, coupled with the high cost of living and higher unemployment rates, put it at the bottom of the overall list.
Top 20 countries to work in and their workplace benefits
We hope that the research uncovered helps to highlight the workplace benefits that individual employers can introduce to keep up staff morale and ensure that the U.S. can help retain its talented and diverse workplace!
What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve
Answer to see the results
Simplify benefits administration
Improve our virtual onboarding experience
Automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks
To conduct this study, our experts looked at the 20 countries with the highest GDP per capita. They ranked these countries based on a number of workplace-related metrics.
To rank each country, 9 metrics were taken into consideration. Those included employment rate, unemployment rate, maternity pay, paternity pay, and statutory sick pay. They also included annual leave allowance, standard working hours, average salary, and cost of living.
We gave each country a score of 1 to 20 based on where they ranked in the list. A score of 20 was the best and 1 was the worst.
Some countries were given the same score if they ranked the same as each other. Where data wasn’t available, countries were given the minimum score of 1 for that ranking.