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Underutilised labour market capacity

Underutilised labour market capacity in London (2009/10 - 2021/22 Q2)

The proportion of people in London wanting to work more than they currently do fell steadily from 17.8% of the working-age population in 2011/12 to 10.8% in 2019/20. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it increased to 12.6% in 2020/21, before coming down to 10% in 2021/22, which is the lowest for the time period covered by this indicator.

Since a peak in 2011/12, the proportion of people who are unemployed fell from 7.2% to 3.7% in 2019/20, before an uptick in 2020/21 to 5.2%. The proportion who are part- time but want full time work fell from 3.7% to 2.4% in the same period, before slightly increasing to 2.6% in 2020/21: and the proportion who are economically inactive but wanting work dropped from it’s peak of 6.9% in 2011/12 before increasing from 4.5% in 2018/19 to 4.8% in 2020/21.

Moving forward to 2021/22, the overall decrease in underutilised labour was because of a fall in the economically inactive but wanting work (1.0% drop) and the unemployed (1.4% drop). Part-time wanting-full-time also declined marginally (0.2%) from the previous year.

Whilst this fall is positive, for those still left wanting more work, there are clear implications for the experience of in-work poverty, demonstrated in other London’s Poverty Profile indicators.