In the News

Why high fixed costs could lead to thousands of car industry job losses

Graham Watson

26th June 2020

Self-evidently, the car industry is under the pump at present, and job losses are inevitable.

However, the thing that real caught my eye in this article was the explicit reference to high fixed costs in the sector and the implications of this for employment decisions.

You might think about how you might draw a profit-maximising firm under these conditions, particularly with demand falling.

The other thing to think about it that if variable costs are low you might think about the short-run shutdown point for a firm

Having done that, you might then reflect that the car industry is probably at that point when the short-run becomes the long-run and the shutdown point changes, with adverse consequences for employment in the sector.

If this scale of job losses is experienced, to what extent will it lead to a rise in long-term structural unemployment? Or can many of these skilled workers transfer to other sectors such as the fast-expanding renewable energy industry?

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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