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Labour market update for London – January 2018

London’s employment rate down (slightly) and unemployment rate up (slightly) on quarter but still remain improved on a year earlier

The ONS have released labour market data for London for the three-month period September to November 2017. In terms of headline indicators (employment rate, unemployment rate and economic inactivity rate) the data showed London doing less well compared to the previous quarter, but still better than compared to a year earlier. Unlike London, headline indicators for the UK improved on the previous quarter. However, changes on the quarter in London are small, and within the margin of error.

  • London’s employment rate (i.e. the proportion of London’s residents aged 16-64 population in employment) in the three months to November 2017 was 74.4 per cent, down 0.6 percentage points on the quarter, but up 0.7 percentage points on the year. The UK’s employment rate was 75.3 per cent, up both on the quarter (by 0.2 percentage points) and year (by 0.9 percentage points).
  • In the three months to November 2017 London’s ILO unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent, up slightly on the quarter (by 0.3 percentage points) but down slightly on the year (by 0.4 percentage points). The UK unemployment rate was 4.3 per cent, lower than London’s. The UK unemployment rate was unchanged on the quarter, and down 0.5 percentage points on the year.
  • In the three months to November 2017 the rate of economic inactivity in London (the proportion of 16 to 64 year olds not in work and not looking for or not able to work) was 21.5 per cent, slightly higher than the 21.2 per cent in the UK.

Note that these figures are based on a sample. Changes in London compared to the previous quarter are smaller than the margin of error introduced by sampling variability, meaning we cannot be sure that changes in the data reflect real changes. Differences between London and the UK are also within the margin of error, although London has had higher unemployment and lower employment than the UK for many years, so we can be confident that these differences are real.

Workforce jobs data (which tell us how many jobs are in London, whether or not taken by Londoners) were updated last month, and showed London jobs growth of 0.1 percent on the previous quarter, and 1.1 per cent on the year. London’s jobs growth was lower in percentage terms than in the UK overall, where jobs grew 0.5 per cent on the quarter and 1.7 per cent on the year.

In London, jobs growth on the year was highest in Administration and Support Services (+54,000 jobs), Construction (+34,000 jobs) and Health and social work (+19,000 jobs). Whereas Education (-24,000 jobs), Arts, entertainment and recreation (-22,000 jobs), and Finance and insurance (-20,000) saw a decline in jobs on the year. The UK saw the largest annual jobs growth in the same three sectors as London, and the largest absolute fall in jobs was also in Education.

Employment and jobs data

*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. Note: we are no longer including a table with the claimant count (the number of people claiming unemployment benefits). The roll out of Universal Credit has caused problems with this statistic because of differences in definition and administrative processes between Jobseekers’ Allowance and Universal Credit. The ONS no longer publishes the claimant count as an official statistic. In September 2017 we provided a briefing.

Employment rate and unemployment rate charts