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The Mayor of London The London Assembly

Labour market update for London – August 2017

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 June 2017 increased by 1.1 percentage points on the previous quarter to 74.4 per cent. This is the highest employment rate since the series began in 1992, and an increase of 1.0 percentage points on the year. This increase represents an additional 128,000 Londoners in employment (age 16 plus) compared to the previous year. The UK’s employment rate also reached a record level (with the series dating back to 1971), rising to 75.1 per cent in the three months to June 2017. London’s employment rate rose by more than the UK’s in the recent data, meaning the employment rate gap between London and the UK has fallen slightly, to 0.8 percentage points. While London accounts for 14 per cent of 16+ employment in the UK, its strong recent growth means it accounts for 38 per cent of the growth in employment numbers in the UK in the past year.

London’s ILO unemployment rate in the three months to June 2017 was 5.5 per cent. This is down 0.6 percentage points on the previous quarter and down 0.4 percentage points on the previous year. The UK’s unemployment rate also fell slightly, to 4.4 per cent, down 0.5 percentage points on the year. The gap beween the London and UK unemployment rates is unchanged from last month’s data.

The more timely claimant count rate has been downgraded to an ‘experimental statistic’ by the ONS due to statistical issues created by the roll out of Universal Credit. However, we are still reporting it in the tables below. The claimant count rate in London for July remained steady 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. June’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.

*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