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Labour market activity

Economic activity status of Londoners aged 16 and over (2023 Q3)

More than 4.7 million Londoners – 65.7% of the adult population – were in work of some kind in the year to September 2023. This is higher than the 60.4% of adults who are employed in the rest of England. 

Nearly one third of adults in London are classed as economically inactive (31%) - which means they are not employed, and not looking for a job or able to start work. There are many reasons someone might be economically inactive, such as  because they are too ill to work, retired, or a student.

Economic activity status of London men aged 16 and over (2023 Q3)

Economic activity status of London women aged 16 and over (2023 Q3)

Labour market activity by sex

There are over 296,500 more men in work in London than women. Men who live in London are also more likely to be self-employed than women – 14.2% compared to 7.8%. 

Women are significantly more likely to be economically inactive than men, with 38.6% of women not working compared to 29.9% of men. For many types of inactivity, women and men have very similar rates, including long-term sickness, studying and temporary sickness. 

However, women were significantly more likely to not be working because they were looking after the home or family, with 8.3% of women – 299,800 people – being homemakers compared to 30,000 or 0.8% of men. Noticeably more women (14.7%) were retired in London than men (11.6%).

See our Reasons for not Working indicator for more detail.