As the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues, impacts are being felt across the U.K. In this week’s Brexit Tracker, labor shortages abound, the European Union delivers its own outlook on the future growth of the U.K. and Sonos is reacting to the changing currency exchange rate by jacking up prices in the U.K.
Looking Elsewhere For Jobs
One of the many things that remains unclear since the U.K. voted to leave the EU is the right to work for non-U.K. nationals. As a result, many are either choosing to return home or search elsewhere for work, The Guardian reported.
A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and The Adecco Group, which polled more than 1,000 employers, found that companies in the U.K. are experiencing shortages in both labor and skills across the manufacturing, health care and hospitality sectors.
The Labor Market Outlook report also noted that one in four employers had EU national employees who were considering vacating their jobs or the U.K. at some point this year.
“This is creating significant recruitment challenges in sectors that have historically relied on non-U.K. labor to fill roles,” Gerwyn Davies, labor market adviser at CIPD, told The Guardian. “With skills and labor shortages set to continue, there’s a risk that many vacancies will be left unfilled, which could act as a brake on output growth in the U.K. in the years ahead.”
Labor market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that EU nationals are arriving to the U.K. in much smaller numbers than they have in the past.
EU Eyes U.K.’s Economic Health
There have been many opinions and forecasts on how the economic health of the U.K. will fare as the Brexit talks take shape and the eventual separation of the U.K. from the EU actually happens.
But the EU itself has finally weighed it with its own outlook.
This week, the European Commission confirmed that it expects the U.K. economy to grow faster than initially expected in the coming year, upgrading its growth estimate for 2017 from just 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
“Having proven resilient to global challenges last year, the European economic recovery is expected to continue this year and next: For the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow throughout the entire forecasting period (2016, 2017 and 2018),” the commission said in a statement. “However, the outlook is surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty.”
Despite the mostly positive projections, the commission warned that the fallout of the Brexit vote will still be felt eventually, and GDP growth in Britain will see some slowdown over the course of the year, The Telegraph reported.
Pierre Moscovici, commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs, added: “The European economy has proven resilient to the numerous shocks it has experienced over the past year. Growth is holding up, and unemployment and deficits are heading lower. Yet, with uncertainty at such high levels, it’s more important than ever that we use all policy tools to support growth. Above all, we must ensure that its benefits are felt in all parts of the euro area and all segments of society.”
Sonos Sends Prices Soaring
Home audio kit maker Sonos is the latest tech company to report it will be raising the prices of its products in the U.K. The company confirmed that its prices will increase by as much as 25 percent as a result of last year’s Brexit vote.
In a message on its website about the new pricing, Sonos explained that a “significant change on the US Dollar to GBP exchange rate” in recent months has made its current pricing unsustainable.
The company said prices in the U.K. will increase as of Feb. 23.
Though it’s not a uniform 25 percent price jump, TechCrunch noted, the local prices of certain products will vary, with some experiencing a higher jump than others.
Sonos joins the likes of other tech companies such as Apple, HTC and Microsoft that have also announced changes in local pricing in the U.K. as a direct result of the Brexit vote.
It’s likely that more are sure to follow.