Morning Brief – UK Employment

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Wed 8 Nov 2023

UK Employment

It may be anecdotal today, but it is maybe going to be rather more than that when we look back in a few months’ time: when one reads that top accountancy firm PWC is laying off 500 staff because fewer resignations than expected have occurred, it would appear that the time of the disease of entitlement, WFH and tight labour market decisions dictating employer management decisions is coming (finally) to an end.

GBP/EUR 1.1515.

Fintech Unicorns

We are indebted to fast growing fintech law firm Founders Law for pointing out the world leaders in numbers of fintech unicorns. Unsurprisingly given the size of its economy and fertile business environment, the USA leads with 137, then there is India with 17, China 8, France, Brazil and Germany with 6, Mexico and Singapore with 5. So where is the UK? Untrumpeted and a great result: the UK is second in the global rankings with 27 ie more than India and China together despite their combined populations of c2.5 billion.

EUR/USD 1.0665.


Vice Premier of China Hi Lifeng is upbeat: China will hit its target and will grow 5% in 2023 thereby helping to haul the world away from recession. That at least is what he told an audience of CEOs in Hong Kong yesterday, nimbly skating over the still reverberating real estate crisis engulfing the Chinese economy.

USD/CNY 7.2835.

City of London Restaurants

A somewhat misleading article in the FT on Monday about the City of London having had fewer restaurant closures post pandemic than other inner London boroughs at 1% versus Lewisham at 11% and Chelsea and Fulham at 8%. Not misleading in that the City is in better health than most newspapers report, since it suits their WFH agenda to say that the City of London is well down on footfall and at some times deserted-no evidence at all of that in the Bank area. However misleading because due to shifting work patterns, the City no longer boasts the number of high end restaurants that it once did when dealmakers had lunch. We miss Le Poulbot, the Baron of Beef, Wheelers, the Cotillion Rooms, Shares, the Paris Grill, the Oak Room, and Pontacks among others.

As Gordon Gecko famously said in the 1987 film Wall Street: Lunch is for wimps. The evening dining business is once again picking up however, so maybe the tide is turning. No group will hope that more than the Wolseley which has splurged on what was the Guardian Assurance in King William Street and opened its all day dining City outpost of the Wolseley this morning at 0700hrs: bon appetit!

GBP/USD 1.2295.

Jailhouse Rock

When the MGM film was released this day in 1957, it opened to initially poor reviews: the then new fangled rock and roll was not critically acclaimed and Elvis Presley came in for even heavier criticism. Just shows how much one should listen to music/film critics!

The warden threw a party in the county jail
The prison band was there and they began to wail
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing
You should’ve heard those knocked out jailbirds sing

Let’s rock
Everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone
Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang
The whole rhythm section was a purple gang

Let’s rock
Everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Number 47 said to number three
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me”

Let’s rock
Everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock, Rock, Rock

Sad Sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, “Hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair”

Let’s rock
Everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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