Employment policies and data

World Indicators of Skills for Employment (WISE) database


The WISE database provides a statistical snapshot of skills development in 214 countries.

It contains 64 indicators in five broad areas:

  • contextual factors
  • skill acquisition
  • skill requirements
  • skill mismatch
  • economic and social outcomes

wise database logo

While not all of these indicators are available for every country, the database can be used to examine the skills challenges and performance of each country from a comparative perspective.

The database can be accessed through OECD.Stat, the online statistical platform of the OECD. The WISE database can be found under the Labour theme. Two ready-made table layouts are available:

  • The ‌‌ database covers the period from 1990 to present. The data have mostly been extracted from the databases of international organisations, including the ILO, OECD, UNESCO, World Bank, and Eurostat and other sources of international data on skills. A few indicators were constructed using primary data sources, such as censuses, labour force surveys and other household surveys.
  • In general, the data are compiled, validated and processed in a uniform way. However the international comparability of the resulting indicators may be affected by statistical differences across countries and over time. Therefore, international comparisons between countries and their interpretation should be made with caution.

  •  The database was prepared as part of the G20 Multi Year Action Plan on Development. Of the nine pillars underpinning the G20 Action Plan, the Human Resource Development (HRD) pillar called for the relevant international organisations to create a set of internationally comparable indicators of skills for employment and productivity for low income countries and develop an international database of skills indicators. The database was subsequently extended to all countries to allow for comparisons and benchmarking across the full range of economic development.
  • While the database is maintained by the OECD, it builds upon the contribution of World Bank, ETF, ILO and UNESCO to its development. 

For more information, please contact Thomas Manfredi

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 ‌Logis for wise page for international organisations




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