It may be the first in-person Davos since before the pandemic, but the atmosphere in the Swiss mountains on Monday was far from celebratory. The war in Ukraine, inflation, rising interest rates, a food crisis and soaring energy costs have combined to put the global economy on rocky ground. As Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, put it: “2022 is going to be a tough year.”
She fell short of warning of a global recession, pointing out that the Fund’s prediction of 3.6% global growth this year was a long way from this definition, but warned that the consequences of the war in Ukraine were going “far and fast.” Additionally, the “tightening of financial conditions, dollar appreciation and China slowing down” would all take their toll. Economic uncertainty is likely to ripple through labour markets.
The first day of the 2022 conference saw experts and world leaders hold discussions on the challenges that lie ahead. “We are at the heart of a lot of things that are being discussed here,” said Coram Williams, CFO at The Adecco Group. “talent scarcity, skills, retraining, the way the labour force is evolving post-Covid… there’s so much for us as experts to influence and shape the way things develop."
Here are the five biggest work-related stories from today’s discussions.
1. President Zelensky says rebuilding Ukraine is an ‘economic way forward’
In a powerful video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited nations, cities and companies to take part in rebuilding his war-torn country. “The amount of work is enormous. We need to rebuild entire cities and industries.”
Zelenskyy said a communal approach meant that “rebuilding could be efficient and of high-quality… but also the largest in Europe since World War II. It will be the largest opportunity in Europe for an economic way forward.”