Category Archives: Economics

BBC Studios Appoints Tom Fussell as CEO

As reported in Variety. “Fussell will oversee BBC Studio’s “ambitious” plans for global expansion, its focus on employee engagement and wellbeing as well as diversity, inclusion and sustainability.”

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What is happening to self-employment in the UK

The tl;dr answer is that it’s too early to tell. As mentioned previously here, there’s a lot of job-switching going on, and there is a generally tight labour market in the UK (and globally, though the UK has the added spice … Continue reading

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There’s a lot of job-switching going on

Following on from two posts here this morning about inflation/pay, and the tight labour market, here’s a third on the trinity of issues that are creating a fair wind for union-type demands at the moment. Sarah O’Connor in the FT … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Low pay, Pay & inflation, Productivity, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Got a pay claim coming up? Want advice on inflation, and stuff like that?

If you have a pay claim coming up and want advice on inflation, and stuff like that…. good luck! Firstly, the official, current inflation figures have not been as flimsy a guide as they are at the moment for a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Inflation, Pay & inflation, Productivity, Skills & capacity | Tagged | 1 Comment

“The tightest labour market in modern times”

This Twitter thread (below) is really worth a careful read for everyone who wants to understand the current state of the labour market. Firstly, the fears about mass redundancies at the end of furlough are just not materialising – if … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Productivity | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why unions matter – the economic argument

Here’s a web page that I return to fairly regularly when thinking about wage growth (or lack thereof). Firstly, there this:   And then there’s this: See the link?  

Posted in Economics, Low pay, Productivity, Trades Unions, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged | Leave a comment

VAT gradually returning to normal rates

Since July 2020, there has been a reduced rate of VAT (5%, and not the normal 20%) charged on transactions in the leisure and hospitality sectors (which includes theatres and live events – a list of who it applies to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Inflation, Theatre and Live Events data, VAT | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Negotiating expenses for working in London (a guide for non-Londoners)

If (for example) you are based in Glasgow but you are asked to spend time working in London, what % uplift should you ask employers for when negotiating expenses? There’s a website called Numbeo that tracks and compares the cost … Continue reading

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Positive working environment “will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.”

Those bug-eyed Marxist fanatics over at the Harvard Business Review are making the case against aggressive management practices again: “…a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Mental Health, Productivity, Wellbeing, Workplace conflict, Workplaces | Leave a comment

Unscripted TV production has too few customers

Another very good article from the consistently smart Sarah O’Connor in the FT[£]. There’s little more to add than that Bectu members can substitute ‘broadcast commissioners’ for ‘supermarkets’ and a lot of this will ring true for them. It’s the … Continue reading

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Right to request flexible working to become a ‘day one right’?

The BBC are reporting that the right to request flexible working (currently something that employees have a statutory right to request after six months) can be requested on day one – when they start a new job. Employers would also … Continue reading

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Arts, entertainment and recreation 18.8% below its pre-covid levels

The ONS monthly estimate for July shows that the UKs Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by only 0.1% in July and is still 2.1% below its pre-pandemic level. Most of the growth was in production output (up 1.2%) while construction … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Economics, Employment, Film & TV industry data, Productivity, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Inflation – 3.2% in August

The increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, has reached 3.2% in the year to August. But the ONS says that we shouldn’t read too much into this (very large) jump because… “The increase … Continue reading

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Continuous working week, shift work, working from home… some links.

From the FT [£]: “The decline of the “9 to 5” has been under way for decades. In 2010-11, 20 per cent of employees in the US worked more than half their hours outside the standard hours of 6am to … Continue reading

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Cultural Diversity is not just about limiting discrimination – it’s an economic and industrial factor

It’s worth bookmarking Unesco’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions here. This is an important global statement on the need for cultural expressions to be produced, distributed, and owned ‘locally’ (in the Nations and … Continue reading

Posted in BBC, Disability equality, Diversity of representation, Economics, Equality, EU & Brexit, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Gender equality, Gender representation, High End TV data, Public Service Broadcasting, Quotas, Race equality, Regulation, SVoD, Tax incentives, UK studios, Wealth inequality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Freelancers – ‘the canary in the coalmine’

From earlier this year, a useful roundup from The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (NESTA) of the policy issues governments need to bear in mind when thinking about creative freelancers. Their understanding of Creative Freelancers is as follows: The … Continue reading

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Scotland to trial four-day week

….but without a loss of pay. More on the BBC website.

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Labour shortages and productivity

Will labour shortages have a positive impact on the economy? I’d argue that they will as employers will stop building business models based on sweating unproductive low-skilled workers and instead on tech innovation. Martin Sandbu [£] agrees. But what is … Continue reading

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Post-pandemic working foregrounds poor management and outdated hierarchies

A couple of  pieces from the FT recently highlighting the spotlight that has fallen on the quality of management in the UK. The first one [£] takes ministers to task for their (possibly unfounded, or even downright wrong) complaints about … Continue reading

Posted in Diversity of representation, Employment, Equality, Gender pay, Gender representation, Management, Productivity, Race equality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Labour shortages increase potential industrial muscle for workers

Today’s FT is full of news about how labour shortages are hitting the economy in numerous ways as a result of multiple market failures [£] which includes the pandemic, the pingdemic, market failure but obviously, we can’t add brexit to … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Gig economy workers, Inflation, IR35, Migration & working abroad, Pay & inflation, Productivity | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Call to arms: unions everywhere must resist this pt2

Very late on Friday post: Following on from the lanyards things a few weeks ago… I’m going to guess we’re all against this kind of facial recognition thing? Research has shown that meetings correlate with a decline in workplace happiness, … Continue reading

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More stats on the impact of the creative sector on the wider economy

Further to this post about the Creative Industries Federation report, here are more stats on the (potential) contribution to the UK economy from the creative sector. The Creative UK Group projects that the creative industries can create 300,000 new jobs … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Film & TV industry policy, High End TV data, Regulation, Skills & capacity, Tax incentives | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jobs growth fueling interest rate changes?

Useful info in here [£] about the current state of the jobs market. How the hot UK labour market is driving interest rate forecasts https://t.co/xIehn9Av73 — Financial Times (@FT) August 11, 2021

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Creative industries employment statistics

More stats reports (two in one day!!) …. the Creative Industries Council publishes information on employment in the creative sectors. This, published in March 2021, says… “With an estimated 2,040,000 jobs – 75 per cent of them outside London – … Continue reading

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Economic insight into the UK creative industries

On the 21st July, the Creative Industries Federation (a membership body which represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries) published a report commissioned from Oxford Economics entitled ‘Developing economic insight into the creative industries’. As this is an economic … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, High End TV data, Productivity, Skills & capacity | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lower pay in the performing arts

One of the biggest factors adversely affecting diversity in the cultural sector is low pay at the entry level – effectively excluding entrants on lower incomes. 🎭Those in the performing and creative arts face the lowest salaries after graduating. 📉They … Continue reading

Posted in Diversity of representation, Economics, Employment, Low pay, Race equality, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality | Tagged | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Recognise Employee Burnout

From the Bectu website… ICYMI workers in the creative industries are highly susceptible to burnout due to precarious working and long hours culture. In a #ThursdayThoughts blog, Meghan Taylor from the Writers Guild shares '5 Ways to Recognise Employee Burnout' … Continue reading

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BBC & Channel 4’s contribution to the UK economy

Channel 4 recently published a study by Ernst and Young of the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy [pdf]  from their activity. This report focuses on the contribution to the Nations and Regions of the UK and concludes … Continue reading

Posted in BBC, Economics, Employment, Film & TV industry data, Film & TV industry policy, Productivity, Public Service Broadcasting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Workers reject the idea of a four-day week on lower pay

A new report from The Social Market Foundation (SMF) entitled A question of time [PDF] explores the question of the four day week. The key findings (from the exec summary) are that… Most workers – 80% – would not favour … Continue reading

Posted in Bectu Agreements, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Long hours, Major Motion Picture Agreement, Management, Pay & inflation, Productivity, TV Drama Agreement, Wages and Pay-rates, Workplace conflict | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TUC insecure work report

The TUC have published a special edition of their Jobs and Recovery monitor,and this time it’s focussed on Insecure Work [PDF]. From the exec summary… The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the reality of insecure work in the UK. Care workers, … Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Inflation rises to 2.5%

From The Guardian: “Britain’s inflation rate has risen to 2.5% – its highest level in almost three years – after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions prompted rising demand. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said dearer food, secondhand cars, … Continue reading

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What the Wilson era can teach us.

Welcome to an era when a stronger welfare state was seen as a pre-condition for economic dynamism. When a robust social infrastructure helped workers take risk. New piece by me on why Harold Wilson’s forgotten agenda is relevant to the … Continue reading

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Working from home (WFH) and productivity

A useful summary, here. This largely looks at the question from the point of view of the economy as a whole. “The individual firms’ decision to shift their workers to WFH could result in aggregate productivity gains only if workers … Continue reading

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Will Biden’s stimulus package cause inflation?

The LSE blog summarises the arguments with a panel of US experts expressing their views on the likelihood of the economy ‘overheating’ and causing inflation as a result.

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Self-employed difficulties with tenancies.

In some cases, the self-employed are finding it almost impossible to find tenancies because of fears over irregular incomes, reports The Times [£].

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