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Between the lines week 46 - November 2021

Date: 18 November 2021

The Great Resignation

In the wake of the pandemic more people in the US are now quitting their jobs. The latest data show a record 4.4m Americans left their jobs in September, accelerating a trend that’s become known as the Great Resignation. The number of people quitting has now exceeded pre-pandemic highs for six straight months, as employers, especially in low-wage sectors, struggle to fill open positions.

Number of people in the US quitting their job (millions) infographic

UK inflation hits a decade high

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation surged to 4.2% year-on-year in October, the highest rate since November 2011.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) noted the jump higher from 3.1% in September had been driven by a combination of higher household energy bills, the rising cost of second-hand cars and fuel and higher prices in hotels and restaurants.

In addition, it pointed out that the costs of goods produced by factories and the price of raw materials have also “risen substantially”, reaching their highest rate for “at least 10 years”.

The 4.2% CPI figure is more than double the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target and is also above the expectations laid out in its latest policy decision earlier this month of “just under 4% in October”.

However, the UK is not alone, latest figures from the US last week showed 12-month CPI inflation rose to 6.2% in October, before seasonal adjustments, marking the largest annual increase since November 1990.

Qualcomm eyes world beyond Apple

Technology firm Qualcomm, best known for making semiconductor chips for Apple iPhones, saw its share price surge on Tuesday (16 Sep) as it stated that gains in the automotive sector and its ‘internet of things’ unit would offset a reduction in supply to Apple.

At its Investor Day, the company recognised that as Apple works on creating its own chips for its devices, it expects to supply just 20% of Apple chips by 2023. However, it pointed out revenues from its automotive segment are expected to increase from less than $1bn in 2021 to $3.5bn in five years and $8bn in 10 years.

This was supported by the announcement of a deal with BMW Group, where Qualcomm will supply chips and technology for its next generation of automated cars.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s ‘internet of things’ unit is expected to create $9bn in revenue from connected devices such as smart watches and wireless earphones, highlighting items such as Meta Platforms’ Oculus Quest 2 virtual-reality headset that already uses a Qualcomm chip.

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Between the lines week 46

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