Global Business Dynamics Trends

October 2022

A tight labour market, persisting supply chain disruptions and elevated economic uncertainties cloud the business environment globally. Despite the challenges, there are opportunities for businesses to transform, innovate and build resilience in the new economic environment. Understanding the key trends shaping global business dynamism allows companies to innovate and adapt to the changing landscape, embracing new opportunities.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Global labour market turns tight post-lockdowns

With severe job cuts during the pandemic, the unemployment rate peaked at 7.6% globally in 2020 and stood at 7.3% in 2021. Despite rather elevated unemployment, job vacancies started to grow substantially as economies entered recovery, leading to increasingly tight labour markets in many of the largest economies globally, posing challenges for businesses to attract talent and deal with labour shortages.

Global challenges foster R&D investments

The global pandemic fostered investments into R&D in medicine and pharmaceutical sectors, striving to deal with virus spread. Going forward, countries and businesses will see rising pressure to invest into innovations and the efficiency of current technologies amidst stagnating global economic growth and slowdown in productivity. Moreover, skyrocketing energy prices and heavy dependency on fossil fuels will further facilitate funding for renewable energy generation capacities and energy-related R&D projects.

Gender pay gap prevails despite improving female education

Female enrolment into higher education has been growing rapidly over the last decade with the share of female students in higher education surpassing that of male students back in 2004. Despite improving female education, the gender pay gap remains a significant issue, dragging down business potential and diminishing incentives for active female participation in the global talent market.

Digitalisation becomes more vital than ever

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for digitalisation and online presence, fostering business investments into e-commerce and other online solutions. Online adspend also surged during the pandemic and is projected to become the predominant ad category globally over the forecast period. Digitalisation and online presence remain a vital component for successful business operation even after the pandemic.

Key findings
Global business dynamics snapshots
Key trends in brief
Areas of opportunity
Business dynamics in 2021: Summary
Global unemployment peaks during the pandemic, while 2021 sees a surge in job vacancies
Global R&D expenditure to reach USD2.1 trillion in 2022, led by the US and China
While female participation in higher education grows, the gender pay gap remains an issue
Global logistics hampered by supply chain disruptions and rising protectionism
Online adspend grows by 25% in 2021 and will move beyond USD540 billion by 2025
ICT adoption by businesses to facilitate further digitalisation
Top global trends impacting business environment
Tight labour market: Talent acquisition remains under pressure
From disruption to innovation: Investments into disruption response and contingency
The gig economy: Rising trend remains a challenge for both businesses and employees
Era of hybrid work: More flexible post-pandemic world fosters changes in talent management
Age of online academia: Edtech and online learning platforms on the rise
Key trends in brief
Unemployment rates
Employed population
Economically active population
Stock market index
Market capitalisation
Wage per hour
Wage per hour in manufacturing
Proportion of population aged 15+ with higher education
Bank nonperforming loans to total gross loans
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment (higher)


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