“Serious and long-lasting consequences” to Londoners facing highest rate of unemployment in the country

“Serious and long-lasting consequences” to Londoners facing highest rate of unemployment in the country


Londoners are facing 30 per cent of the UK’s job losses caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic since February 2020, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed on 23 March 2021.

The capital has the UK’s highest rate of unemployment at 7.2 per cent in comparison to the national unemployment rate of five per cent. London has also seen a decrease of 209,000 pay-rolled employees out of 693,000 in the UK.

Research from the cross-party group, London Councils, have also revealed that almost one in ten Londoners could be unemployed by the end of the year due to the impact of Covid-19.

London Councils’ skills and employment executive member and Waltham Forest Council leader, Councillor Clare Coghill, said that this scale of unemployment would have “serious and long-lasting consequences” and would “widen London’s economic and social inequalities”.

Cllr Coghill added: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown time and again how councils play a vital role in responding to local challenges and co-ordinating services. With unemployment set to be one of the key concerns of the coming months and years, we need an urgent reset of the government’s approach to tackling this issue.

“Rather than top-down, centralised structures, the government must empower local authorities to develop local solutions for helping our residents back into work.”

Another study commissioned by City Hall shows that a “best-case scenario” would still see a loss of up to 114,000 face-to-face jobs in central London and the West End within two years by 2023. This report from the London School of Economics (LSE) accompanies the previous research that reveals that young people aged 16 to 24 would be hit hardest by job losses, with those from BAME backgrounds experiencing higher rates.

A decrease in domestic tourists and commuters to the city has also led to a £5.4 billion loss in 2020 in comparison to the previous year. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a £6 million campaign in response to the LSE report this week from 22 March. The campaign is aimed at supporting the safe reopening of central London’s economy and bringing visitors back to the area.

The Mayor has said: “This report shows that we can’t be complacent in assuming everything will return to normal. The excitement and buzz of central London will endure, but we will have to be bold and innovative over the coming months to ensure people return to central London in large numbers – whether as tourists, office workers, shoppers or for a night out.

“A key part of this will undoubtedly be doing more to showcase what London’s cultural venues have to offer. But we also need a step change in action to ensure our city centre streets are green, attractive and enjoyable places to spend time. As London always has done in the past, I know we will continue to adapt and innovative, and remain a leading destination for people from all around the world.”


For more information, you can view the statistics here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment#timeseries




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Jill Lupupa

Jill is a practised culture & current affairs writer, editor and soon to be NCTJ-qualified journalist.