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Unemployment rates by age group

Unemployment rates by age group (2004 Q4 - 2022 Q4)

The unemployment rate in London for those aged 16 - 24 saw a significant drop of 4.3 percentage points in the year to December 2022 and now stands at 14.2%. This is the lowest rate since 2017 and the second lowest for the time period covered by this indicator. Those aged 25 - 64 also saw a reduction in the unemployment rate by a comparatively modest 0.9 percentage points to 3.4%. Unemployment is also low for those aged 65 and over, at 2.7% in 2021 (low survey response numbers mean we can’t report for 2022), however relatively few in this group are either in work or seeking work, as the majority are retired.

Unemployment rates among the working age population (16-64) are higher in London than in the rest of England, which has been true for the whole time period covered by this indicator.

Compared to other age groups, the unemployment rate for those aged 16 - 24 also rose faster following the financial crisis and has fallen faster since 2013. The significant rise in the unemployment rate for those in this age group in 2020 and 2021 reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been more significant for this group (and most extreme in London). However, other factors, such as those put on furlough and the changes in inactivity within the labour market, should also be considered to fully capture the economic impact of the pandemic.

The unemployment rate is the percentage of the economically active population (adults who are not retired, studying, looking after the home, long-term sick etc.) who are either without a job, have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks or are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start in the next two weeks