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Unemployment rates by age group

Unemployment rates by age group (2005 Q2 - 2023 Q2)

The unemployment rate in London for those aged 16–24 increased by 2.9 percentage points in the year to June 2023 and now stands at 16.4%. Excluding the COVID-19 pandemic affecting 2021, this is the highest rate since 2016. 

By contrast unemployment for those aged 25–64 is significantly lower and saw a reduction in the unemployment rate from 3.8% in 2022 to 3.4% in 2023. 

Unemployment for people aged 65 and over was comparable to people aged 25–64 for the most recently available data (low survey response numbers mean we can’t report for 2022 or 2023; 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 in 2008 and has fallen faster since 2013. The significant rise in the unemployment rate for those in this age group in 2021 reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been more significant for this age group (most extremely in London). However, other labour market factors e.g. the impact of furlough, 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.