By Robert Clear, Researcher in the City of London Research Team
Here we present a brief snapshot of London’s working age population, taken from the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
London’s working-age profile
The most recent Annual Population Survey (APS) data show that in December 2016 the total number of working age people in London – those aged between 16-64 – was 5,927,900. There was an almost even gender split, with 2,964,600 men and 2,963,100 women – a difference of only 1,500. The table below breaks down the working-age groups in the capital, showing that the largest group was the 35–49s.
London’s labour supply
According to the Labour Force Survey, in February 2017 the total number of people aged between 16 and 64 in employment was 4.5 million – approximately 73.4% of the working age population. This figure is slightly lower than the total for the UK, which stands at 74.6%. The data shows that the total number of working age people in employment in London is fractionally down on the previous quarter, when 8,000 more people were reportedly in employment (4.508 million). This is the first decline since the second quarter of 2015, when the employment figure dropped by 34,000.
Hours worked per week
The two tables below show the average hours worked weekly by those in employment, comparing London with the UK in December 2016 (APS data). In both cases, the largest group are those who worked 35–44 hours per week, each around 45% of the total. The most notable difference is that in London the second largest group are those who work over 45 hours per week (28.8%), whereas in the UK it is 10–34 group (27.4%).
APS data for December 2016 suggests that the overwhelming majority of employed Londoners worked in the private sector: 3,602,500 compared to the 868,500 who worked in the public sector – 80.6% of the working population compared to 19.4%. The table below reveals an interesting split between the sexes in their pattern of employment. The data shows that, relative to their respective working populations, around twice the percentage of working women are employed in the public sector than men.
Gross weekly pay remained significantly higher in London than the rest of the UK in 2016 (the latest reported year), at £670.80 against £538.70, according to ONS’s annual survey of hours and earnings - resident analysis. Since 2008 there has been a pay gap of over £100 between the capital and the UK as a whole. Gross weekly pay for women in 2016 was £609.50 for London against £480.50 in the UK, and for men it was £733.20 against £577.80.
ONS’s seasonally adjusted claimant count puts the total in London in March 2017 at 114,655– 2% as a proportion of claimants plus total workforce jobs. This compares to 2.2% for the UK.