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Unemployment tops infectious diseases as main concern for business execs: WEF

8th October 2020 - Author: Charlie Wood

Unemployment has topped out infectious diseases as the main concern for business executives globally, according to a World Economic Forum survey.

world-economic-forum-logoFiscal crisis was the top concern in 2019 but came third in this year’s survey, which included responses from business leaders in regions including East Asia and the Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, North America, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa.

The survey presented respondents with a core list of 30 global risks and asked to select the five they considered to be of most concern for doing business in their respective countries within the next 10 years.

Natural catastrophes were up up seven places from last year, while extreme weather events increased five places.

Other significant changes included a decrease in perceived threat from human-made environmental catastrophes, failure of urban planning, and terrorist attacks.


WEF’s data formed past of interactive that was developed in partnership with Marsh & McLennan Companies, Zurich Insurance Group, and SK Group.

“The employment disruptions caused by the pandemic, rising automation and the transition to greener economies are fundamentally changing labour markets,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.

“As we emerge from the crisis, leaders have a remarkable opportunity to create new jobs, support living wages, and reimagine social safety nets to adequately meet the challenges in the labour markets of tomorrow.”

“COVID-19 is distracting us from certain long-term risks that will be around long after the current crisis is resolved,” added Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group.

“But the pandemic is also having the positive effect of leading many to reassess priorities. This, I hope, will ensure that businesses advance their risk resilience strategies and result in decisive and impactful action to combat existential risks like climate change.”

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