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Photo: Simon Dawson/Getty Images

The Bank of England might finally, really be the first major central bank to raise interest rates from the pandemic era's rock bottom levels.

Flashback: The BoE was widely expected to pull the trigger at its November meeting. It didn’t.

Why it matters: The world will be watching. If rate liftoff in a major economy goes smoothly — or has hiccups — it could send useful signals to other central bankers.

What’s new: Two key data points out this week.

  • Jobs grew after the U.K.’s furlough scheme — or stimulus program — ended on Sept. 30. Unemployment’s now down to 4.3% — even lower than economists expected.
  • On top of that, inflation reached 4.2% in October — a 10-year high — jumping from 3.1% in September.

“It would be a bigger surprise if at the next meeting they don’t raise rates. They pretty well telegraphed it,” Chris Gaffney, president of World Markets at TIAA Bank, tells Axios.

  • The BoE members that voted earlier this month to keep the key rate steady at 0.1% wanted to ensure that employment moved in the right direction after the end of the furlough program, he adds.

The bottom line: Naturally, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey isn’t committing to any course in advance. But he did acknowledge the labor market is “considerably tighter,” and said Tuesday’s jobs data, along with the next employment release, are critical to the bank’s thinking, Reuters reports.

  • The next jobs report will be out two days before the BoE meeting on Dec. 16.

Go deeper: Central banks surprise markets with dovish interest rate stance

Go deeper

Job numbers are up and unemployment is down in Texas

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area’s unemployment rate in October dropped slightly from September, according to data released by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Why it matters: Unemployment in North Texas remains below the national and statewide averages.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.