Australia has dropped two spots to 16th in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses the most competitive business environment globally in 2019.

With a largely unchanged score from last year, Australia fell from 14th on the back of other countries’ improvements.

Australia slipped further in its rank for burden of government regulation (77th to 80th), and is now 23rd for its overall labour market competitiveness.

More specifically, Australia ranked 111th for its hiring and firing practices, 42nd for redundancy costs and 95th for flexibility in wage determination.

The index is an annual yardstick for policy-makers to look beyond short-term and reactionary measures and to instead assess their progress against the full set of factors that determine productivity.

These are organized into 12 pillars:

  • Institutions
  • Infrastructure
  • ICT adoption
  • Macroeconomic stability
  • Health
  • Skills
  • Product market
  • Labour market
  • Financial system
  • Market size
  • Business dynamism
  • Innovation capability

Australia’s score barely changed from last year (78.7, –0.2 points) and now ranks three places ahead of New Zealand (76.7).

Strengths identified within Australia include Macroeconomic stability (100), Skills (80.6, 13th) and Financial system development (85.9, 13th).

Singapore was ranked number 1 in 2019 for the competitiveness of its business environment, usurping the United States for top spot.

Read the full report here.