Low levels of unemployment doesn’t translate into “improved living standards in London”

UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June – the lowest for more than 40 years. They also show a rise in productivity, but a slowdown in wage growth.

The official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on unemployment revealed that:

  • 5% unemployment in London is near record low (persons aged 16-64, April-June 2018), driven in particular by fewer young people and fewer women out of work.
  • The young person (18-24 year old) unemployment rate was 12.7%, 2.1 percentage points lower than the same point last year.
  • Overall female unemployment in London was down 1.2 percentage points, compared to the same period last year, and now stands at 5.3%.
  • London still has a marginally higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country (4%), but the latest figures show a small gap in contrast to historical trends.

Responding to the figures, Ben Rogers, Director at Centre for London:  “Despite the strong Brexit headwind, London is demonstrating resilience. These low levels of unemployment are encouraging, with particularly strong job growth in Real Estate, Information and Communication and the Arts sectors.

“But high costs of living the in capital means that strong labour market performance is not necessarily translating into improved living standards for ordinary Londoners. And there are worries over pay levels for some groups, especially for those entering the labour market. These could be stumbling blocks for London in the future.”

Secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey said: “With the unemployment rate falling further to just 4%, and youth unemployment down over 45% since 2010, school leavers this week can look forward to a growing jobs market, improving the prospects for their future careers.”

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