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Underutilised labour market capacity

Underutilised labour market capacity in London (2009/10 - 2022/23 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 9.3% in 2022/23, 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, an uptick followed the COVID pandemic in 2020/21 to 5.2%, falling back again to 3.7%.

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 2022/23, the overall decrease in underutilised labour was because of a fall in the economically inactive but wanting work (1.4 ppt drop) and the unemployed (1.5 ppt drop). Part-time wanting-full-time also declined marginally (0.2 ppt) 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.