Asia Pacific 2022 Outlook – Challenges and Signs of Recovery in Third Year of Disruption

January 14, 2022

As the New Year begins, signs of recovery are beginning to emerge in the Asia Pacific economic and employment landscape amid continued staffing and return-to-work challenges.

As companies pivot into the third year of disruption, there is evidence of stabilization in employment rates and economic resilience throughout the Asia Pacific region—with some countries forecasting a return to growth in 2022. This stronger economic growth, coupled with stable inflation in the region, has also led to some positive wage growth—particularly in higher value job roles, which have prospered during the COVID era.

The challenges of country border closures continue to have a significant impact on the travel and tourism sector, as well as labor shortages in industries (such as agriculture and natural resources) that rely heavily on migrant labor movement. These challenges are expected to continue throughout the first half 2022 as countries apply isolationist approaches seeking to curb the spread of the omicron variant.

Return to work conundrums will influence and confound employers in 2022. As many employees were beginning to return to the workplace, the recent COVID outbreak has once again put arrangements on hold. The challenges of vaccination status, disease prevalence, and employer health and safety responsibilities in the home and workplace will continue to be a risk management priority for organizations around the region.

Necessity is the mother of invention: Throughout 2022, organizations will continue to navigate the many twists and turns that are put in their way, finding innovative and ultimately sustainable ways to build employee engagement and business resilience. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2022 to all our Asia Pacific companies!