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Labour market update for London – September 2017

Workforce jobs and employment rates continue to rise in London, both reach record highs

This month the ONS updated its workforce jobs estimates. The number of jobs located in London (i.e. whether or not they are taken by residents of London) reached 5.8 million in Q2 2017, another record high. This was 33,000 more than for Q1 2017 – with London accounting for over a third of total UK jobs growth during this time – and 59,000 more than for the previous year. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the annual net increase in jobs in London has come from an increase in self-employment jobs (+43,000).

Looking at trends by industrial sector, the largest year-on-year jobs growth in London came from Professional Services (+33,000), Administrative & Support Services (+28,000) and Transport & Storage (+26,000). On the other hand, jobs in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-39,000) and to a lesser extent Real Estate (-26,000) and Education (-14,000) saw declines. On a quarterly basis, there was a significant increase in jobs in Administrative & Support Services (+30,000) and a large fall in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (-18,000).

London’s employment rate (i.e. the proportion of London’s residents aged 16-64 population in employment) in the three months to July 2017 increased by 1.6 percentage points on the previous quarter to 74.9 per cent. This is the highest employment rate since the series began in 1992, and an increase of 1.5 percentage points on the year. This increase represents an additional 152,000 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 75.3 per cent in the three months to July 2017.

London’s ILO unemployment rate in the three months to June 2017 was 5.2 per cent. This is down 0.8 percentage points on the previous quarter and down 0.9 percentage points on the previous year. The UK’s unemployment rate also fell slightly, to 4.3 per cent. The more timely claimant count rate – downgraded to an ‘experimental statistic’ by the ONS due to statistical issues created by the roll out of Universal Credit (see accompanying note) – remained steady at 2.1 per cent in London in August 2017.

In addition, the ONS has updated data on ‘workless’ households, which is a household where at least one person is aged 16 to 64 but where no one is employed. There were 329,000 such households in London between April and June 2017, 11.7 per cent of the total. The share of workless households across London was down 1.1 percentage points from the previous year and remains lower than for the UK as a whole (14.5 per cent). During this time, the fall in the share of workless households in outer London (-2.3 percentage points) offset a small rise in inner London (+0.5 percentage points).

*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.

Employment rate and unemployment rate charts