Daily Brief: The UK Has So Many Jobs, So Little Post-Brexit Goodwill

Daily Brief: The UK Has So Many Jobs, So Little Post-Brexit Goodwill

about 2 years ago3 mins

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Data out on Tuesday showed UK job vacancies hit record highs last month, as the country starts to realize Brexit might not be the tourist attraction it thought it was…

What does this mean?

The UK might’ve added a record number of new jobs last month, but there are still plenty going spare: openings rose to a record 1.2 million in November. And the trouble is there just aren’t many people going for them – a stark contrast from this time last year. In fact, data has shown that half a million fewer people are employed or looking for a job than there were before the first lockdown. That could be because hundreds of thousands of workers have left the UK for good during the pandemic, including around 200,000 from Europe alone. Or it could be because Brexit – remember Brexit? – has made it harder than ever for those Europeans who do want to pitch in to do just that.

Vacancies

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: More competition, more inflation.

A scramble for staff means one thing: companies will have to sweeten the deal to win would-be employees over, which might be why survey data earlier this month showed UK employers upped starting salaries at a record rate last month. That’s good news for Brits, not so good for the Bank of England (BoE): the trend looks set to push inflation higher, which could put pressure on the central bank to hike interest rates when it meets later this week.

Unemployment

Zooming out: British banks get an A+.

At least the BoE’s got one thing off its plate: it’s been running stress tests – created as an early-warning system after the 2008 financial crisis – on the UK’s biggest eight banks, seeing how they’d hold up against a “doomsday scenario” of triple the unemployment rate, a sharp fall in property prices, and a shift into economic contraction. But here’s something to stick on your fridge: the BoE announced last week that all eight banks passed with flying colors.

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Toyota Announced It'll Invest $35 Billion Into Electric Vehicles

Toyota image

Toyota said on Tuesday that it’s finally planning to invest billions into battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs). About time too.

What does this mean?

Toyota was one of the very first carmakers to roll out hybrids, but it’s been left way behind its competitors as far as battery-only EVs go. Clearly the company thinks now’s the time to change all that: it announced plans to build a new line of 30 battery-powered EVs by 2030, and sell 3.5 million of them a year by then too. That number’s particularly ambitious given that it represents roughly a third of everything the carmaker sells today, but Toyota’s got the money to make it happen: it’s planning to invest $35 billion into the space by the end of the decade.

Toyota stock
Source: Google Finance

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: Toyota tries to have cake, eat it too.

Toyota’s not putting all its eggs in one basket, mind you: it wants to plough another $35 billion into other types of EVs, including those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The carmaker says it wants to keep its options open in case the market ever shifts away from battery EVs, which might also be why it didn’t join other carmakers in pledging to phase out fossil fuel-powered cars at COP26. Still, the last thing it wants to do is antagonize an increasingly green investor: it’s aiming to make its manufacturing plants carbon-neutral by 2035 instead.

Zooming out: Everyone wants a piece of EVs.

There’s a simple reason Toyota is going big: the EV market grew last year even as the wider car market shrank, suggesting there’s a lot more potential in the new technology than there is in the old. The company can’t have missed the moment Tesla’s market value hit $1 trillion in October either – more than the value of Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler, Ford, and General Motors combined.

EVs
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