Browsing: Economy

Economy
Biggest jump in UK redundancies since 2009 as Covid-19 hits jobs market – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, including new UK unemployment statistics Breaking: UK redundancies jumps to 156,000 in last quarter That’s 48,000 more than previous three months Economists: Redundancies will keep rising Jobless rate rises to 4.1% Payrolled employment has fallen by 700,000 since March More than five million people still furloughed LIVE Updated

Economy
Gordon Brown: To lead Britain through a crisis, you have to be able to see beyond it

Our country’s Covid-19 crisis, together with the economic crisis the pandemic brought with it, is not over. In fact, it is entering a dangerous new phase.With the UK economy collapsing by 25% in March and April – a fall twice as bad as those in Europe and the US and now only halfway back to pre-crisis level – a recovery plan is needed: closer to France’s £90bn, Germany’s £115bn and the US’s £1tn is required, not the £30bn announced by the chancellor in July.Millions of people – not 200,000 as now – must be tested every day if the mass return to the workplace is not to result in a second wave of the disease.And, if the end of the furlough scheme on 31 October is not to bring the highest number of redundancies in living memory, new job-protection measures – based on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s assessment that unemployment could reach 3m – will have to be implemented in the next few days.Already I see the Conservative economic doves of the spring reverting to type, emerging as the grasping fiscal hawks of autumn, unable to see that every economic orthodoxy has been turned on its head.Having led the

Economy
European Central Bank leaves interest rates at record lows – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as investors await new growth and inflation forecasts from the ECB Latest: ECB leaves rates on hold Introduction: ECB meeting today Coming up: Will Lagarde voice alarm about deflation? Bank of England’s Covid-19 bill European markets in the red Morrison’s profits hit by Covid-19 LIVE Updated

Economy
The world's central banks are starting to experiment. But what comes next? | Adam Tooze

Are we seeing the end of the supremacy of the US dollar? With soaring government spending and gaping deficits are we on the cusp of a great surge of inflation? In light of the extreme financial measures required by the Covid-19 crisis and the alarming polarisation of US politics, the markets can be forgiven for asking such dramatic questions.But it is worth reminding ourselves that as recently as March, the whole world was crying out for dollars. And far from fearing inflation, the problem actually facing central banks is how to avoid sliding into deflation. Falling prices are a disaster because they squeeze debtors – think negative equity in housing markets – and create a vicious circle of postponed purchases, leading to falling demand and further deflation.In response to the threat of deflation, there are, indeed, changes afoot. But these take the form not of some dramatic collapse, but of a series of subtle but important adjustments in central bank policy.The model of central banking from which we are departing emerged out of the battle against the inflation of the 1970s. It involved an independent central bank using short-term interest rates to keep inflation below 2%. If unemployment fell “too

Economy
The pandemic is an opportunity to reconsider what makes a good life | Kate Soper

Coronavirus has been devastating for those who fell sick or lost loved ones. The restrictions imposed on everyday life to check its spread have been particularly difficult for people living in cramped accommodation, those juggling childcare and work, and those who have lost their jobs. But despite these huge losses, the pandemic has allowed us to glimpse what a different economy and pace of life might look like – one that is slower, more sustainable and less fixated on growth and consumption. A YouGov poll at the end of June found 31% of people now want to see “big” changes in the economy, three quarters want the choice to work more at home, and only 6% favour a return to a pre-Covid economy. At the height of the coronavirus crisis in June, some 7.5 million people were temporarily unemployed – the largest quarterly decrease (18.4%) in total weekly hours since records began in 1971. Through the furlough scheme, the state made the unprecedented decision to pay the wages to those out of work. Those who were lucky worked from home and took mortgage holidays. Of course, this didn’t apply equally: many frontline workers had no other option but to go

Economy
Pound hit by rising Brexit worries; markets fall back – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as no-deal fears send sterling down to a two-week low Lunchtime: Pound down 1% against US dollar at $1.304 Brexit jitters hit sterling Tesla shares to slump after S&P 500 snub Full story: Leaked EU cables reveal growing mistrust of UK Introduction: German exports pick up LIVE Updated

Economy
On Labor Day, remember this: Trump's America works only for the rich | Robert Reich

On Labor Day weekend, eight weeks before one of the most consequential elections in American history, it’s useful to consider the inequalities of income and wealth that fueled Donald Trump’s victory four years ago – and which are now wider than ever.No other developed nation has nearly the inequities found in the US, even though all have been exposed to the same forces of globalization and technological change. Jeff Bezos’s net worth recently reached $200bn and Elon Musk’s $100bn, even as 30 million Americans reported their households didn’t have enough food. America’s richest 1% now own half the value of the US stock market, and the richest 10% own 92%.American capitalism is off the rails.The main reason is that large corporations, Wall Street banks and a relative handful of exceedingly rich individuals have gained enough political power to game the system.Chief executives have done everything possible to prevent the wages of most workers rising in tandem with productivity gains, so most gains go instead into the pockets of top executives and major investors. They’ve outsourced abroad, installed labor-replacing technologies and switched to part-time and contract work.They’ve busted unions, whose membership shrank from 35% of the private-sector workforce 40 years ago

Economy
Imagination needed to build a new UK economy | Letters

I couldn’t agree more with Larry Elliott that we now have a chance to build a new economy for the country (What now for Britain’s economy – a new direction, or business as usual?, 3 September). However, I disagree with his declinist “potted modern economic history of Britain”. Historians like David Edgerton have shown that, far from Britain being on an inexorable downward trajectory from the second half of the 19th century, the UK over that period became a global economic power, outpacing many other modern industrialised nations, despite fighting two world wars. We then enjoyed the additional benefit, by the 1970s, of North Sea oil, which allowed us to become a net exporter.It was when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 and started selling off many flourishing state-owned industries that the economy was fatally weakened. Her beliefs – that “markets know best” and that the state should not interfere – still influence policymakers. Other countries – notably Germany and China, but even the US – have always put funding into industries deemed vital to the economy, or which promise future technological advantage. The UK does now have a chance to invest in our future, but does anyone really

Economy
Prevent 'tsunami' of job losses when furlough ends, TUC urges Sunak

Rishi Sunak has been urged by union leaders to launch a wage subsidy scheme to prevent a “tsunami” of unemployment when furlough comes to an end this autumn.Demanding the chancellor follows the examples of other leading European countries to avert a looming jobs crisis, the Trades Union Congress said a continental-style system of “short-time working” wage support could be used in Britain to save millions of jobs from redundancy.Under the system, companies struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic receive a government subsidy for the hours a worker is away from their job. Similar systems are used in Germany, Austria and France and have been extended in recent months because of the growing risks for companies and workers around the world amid the Covid recession.However, the UK government is gradually scaling back its emergency furlough scheme and will close it entirely by the end of October. The Bank of England has warned as many as 2.5 million people could be out of work by the end of 2020 as the scheme is brought to a close.Having supported as many as 9 million workers at its peak in May, more than one in 10 workers in Britain remained furloughed in

Economy
Workers excluded from UK Covid safety net in choral 'Les Mis' plea

Coronavirus outbreak Over a hundred people record version of One Day More to urge chancellor to act Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Play Video 4:03 Virtual choir of workers excluded from coronavirus support schemes sing ‘One Day More’ – video A choral cry for help based on a song from the musical Les Misérables is being aimed at the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, by workers who have slipped through the government’s coronavirus income protection net. A hundred people, including self-employed driving instructors, fitness teachers and health workers, have recorded a version of One Day More in a plea for the government to bail out people whose incomes have evaporated since lockdown but have received little or no emergency help. Members of ExcludedUK, a campaign group that believes 3 million people have fallen through the gaps, recorded the song from