Tuesday, March 14, 2006

worklessness in London

There's a big fuss about this at the moment. The main points from the Labour Force Survey (May 2005)...

Economic inactivity is much higher in London
Jobless students account for a lot of the inactive
Non-students who want to work - rate the same as UK average
Non-students who don't want to work - rate is lower than UK average

For me - the rate of worklessness for those who want to work (but are not officially ILO unemployed) is the same as the UK average - on aggregate, it perhaps wouldn't merit the huge fuss. But - there are concentrations of worklessness amongst certain geographical areas and ethnic groups.

My major issue is that - the incidence and cause of worklessnesss needs to be looked at in depth, and whether it is a problem, or specifically where it is a problem is at issue - oh, and then what you can do about it, if anything. I'd rather economics took more of a lead than politics in this case.

Of those not in employment of working age…
LONDON No. : 1,478,000
LONDON % of all working age: 31%
UK No. :9,316,000
UK % of all working age: 26%
London comparison to UK average: higher

Of those not in employment of working age… & are students
LONDON No. :394,000
LONDON % of all workless: 27%
UK No. : 1,957,000
UK % of all workless: 21%
London Comparison to UK average: higher

Of those not in employment of working age… & are not students, would like a job (are ILO unemployed; inactive and seeking or are not seeking but would like to work)
LONDON No. :490,000
LONDON % of all workless: 33%
UK No. : 2,983,000
UK % of all workless: 32%
London Comparison to UK average: same

Of those not in employment of working age… & are not students, don't want to work (not seeking, and don't want to work)
LONDON No. :593,000
LONDON % of all workless: 40%
UK No. : 4,377,000
UK % of all workless: 47%
London Comparison to UK average: lower

2 Comments:

Blogger Neil Craig said...

Since London has a higher standard of wealth overall does this mean it has an extremely high ratio of really well off?

Are we looking at a less extreme version of Washington with some of the wealthiest suburbs, largely inhabited by those who work in, or with, government (including CEOs of big companies, & a poor, mainly coloured, underclass?

11:12 AM  
Blogger Angry Economist said...

London sucks in a lot of commuters from outer London and the South East yes. But it also sucks in immigrants from the EU, especially recent accession states, some of whom have taken up low skill jobs that traditionally form the entry level jobs for workless people.

The workless in London I think are at a competitive disadvantage to commuters and immigrants. Plus there are also significant cultural and ethnic factors - e.g. low levels of employment amongst bangladeshi women.

Large corporations are major employers, and show less diverse workforces than small businesses or relative to the ethnic composition of the workforce.

10:03 AM  

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