Employment rate reaches record high
London’s employment rate (i.e. the proportion of London’s resident working age population in employment) in the three months to May 2017 increased by 0.7 percentage points on the previous quarter to 74.0 per cent, up by 0.7 percentage points on the year. This is a large increase, and reverses the trend of recent months. It closes the gap in employment rates between London and the UK to 0.9 percentage points – the gap had been widening in recent months. In the UK the employment rate in the three months to May 2017 was 74.9 per cent, and up 0.3 percentage points on the quarter. The increase in the employment rate in London has coincided with a fall in the inactivity rate for London’s working age population of 0.5 percentage points both on the previous quarter and year on year.
London’s ILO unemployment rate in the three months to May 2017 was 5.5 per cent. This is down 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter and down 0.3 percentage points on the previous year. As with the employment rate data, the latest unemployment data shows the gap between London and the UK decreasing – it had been increasing for several months. The UK unemployment rate was 4.5 per cent in the three months to May 2017, down 0.2 percentage points on the previous quarter.
The more timely claimant count rate has been downgraded to an ‘experimental statistic’ by ONS due to statistical issues created by the roll out of Universal Credit. We are still reporting it in the tables below. The claimant count rate in London for June remained at 2.1 per cent, unchanged on the previous month, and slightly below the UK rate of 2.3 per cent.
Workforce jobs numbers were not updated this month. Last month’s update for Q1 2017 showed a record high number of jobs in London, with significant yearly growth in Professional Services and Health and Social Work in line with previous trends, and falls in Education, Real Estate and Finance and Insurance all had declines, contrary to previous trends.
*All figures are seasonally adjusted. Rates are based on working age (16 – 64 male and female), with the exception of unemployment rate which is age 16 and above.
** ONS have ceased reporting on the claimant count as an official statistic as the roll-out of Universal Credit replaces Jobseekers’ Allowance. This is because of differences in definition and administrative processes between the two benefits, which affects seasonality. The change in the administrative process is also increasing numbers in the claimant count. Differences in the phasing of UC roll out is an explanation of relative differences in claimant count growth between London and UK. We will continue to include the claimant count figure in these updates have removed the year-on-year comparisons. This will be kept under review.
Employment rate and unemployment rate charts