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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

UK employment reaches record high, British Gas loses 110,000 customers, and more top news

British Gas loses 110,000 customers as "competitive intensity" puts sector under pressure. (Photo credit: NurPhoto / Contributor)
British Gas loses 110,000 customers as "competitive intensity" puts sector under pressure. (Photo credit: NurPhoto / Contributor)

UK employment reaches record high, British Gas loses 110,000 customers, and more top news

LinkedIn Daily Rundown (UK)

The news UK professionals need to know now

161 articles
The UK's employment rate has increased to 75.6% – the highest since records began in 1971. New stats from the ONS show there were 32.34 million people in work in the first quarter of the year, 396,000 more than a year ago. The data also shows average weekly earnings increased 2.9% compared with a year earlier. Once inflation is taken into account, this translates as a 0.4% increase, signalling that the year-long incomes squeeze is finally over.
British Gas has lost 110,000 customers since the start of the year, as rising energy prices push more households to switch providers. Energy UK reported 1.3 million customers switched energy suppliers in the first three months of 2018. Iain Conn, CEO of British Gas parent company Centrica, told shareholders the energy sector faces “high levels of competitive intensity”. The government’s looming price cap on standard energy tariffs is expected to be in place by the end of the year.
New Look is facing allegations of implementing a “fat tax” across its plus-size range. The high street retailer is accused of selling items from its Curves range for up to 30% more than an identical garment in its main collection. New Look said it’s in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of its plus size collection. PwC reported the UK plus-size market was estimated to be worth £6.6bn in 2017, forecasting growth between 5% and 6% from 2017 to 2022.
UK bookmakers are set to hit jackpot stateside, after the US supreme court struck down a 26-year-old nationwide ban on sports betting. Shares in UK-based bookmakers rose as investors bet on a rush to expand into the US market. William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair already have operations in Nevada and New Jersey. Meanwhile, William Hill has warned reforms to fixed-odds betting terminals could see the company become a takeover target, as well as putting tens of thousands of industry jobs at risk.
Thomas Cook’s Club 18-30 franchise is “exploring options” including a possible sale, as millennials' travel habits change. The travel operator blames the rise of “ego travel” and Instagram for turning millennial travellers away from cheap package holidays. Founded in 1965, Thomas Cook bought Club 18-30 in 1998, which at its peak had 100,000 bookings per year and recorded £48m in annual sales. Speculation last emerged in 2006 that Thomas Cook could put the brand up for sale.
Idea of the Day: “It turns out that happiness is a learnable skill”, author and Tencent executive Ben Feder tells Gretchen Rubin – and it’s something you can practice.
“By being mindful of our thoughts and deliberately turning them around to be more positive and optimistic, we can, over time, create new neural pathways so that our overall disposition is happier.”
This article has been updated. From earlier: Plans for a £3bn regeneration of London’s Canada Water have been revealed, featuring  up to 3,000 new homes and several corporate headquarters – creating around 20,000 jobs.
What's your take? Join the conversations on today's stories in the comments.
— Natalie MacDonald / Share this using #DailyRundown