Hours worked

Actual weekly hours by gross weekly pay quintile across Q2 - Q3 in London and the rest of England (2010-2021)

Usual weekly hours by gross weekly pay quintile across Q2 - Q3 in London and the rest of England (2010-2021)

Looking at hours worked within London and the rest of England can give us a useful insight on our working patterns pre- and post-pandemic. Actual hours worked are heavily impacted by external factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas usual hours are not expected to change much over the years. 

Actual hours worked varied particularly between 2019 and 2020 for the bottom income quintiles within England. Within London, the decline in actual hours worked for the 2nd income quintile is most extreme between 2019 and 2020 - dropping from 36.8 to 25.6 hours per week. For almost all income quintiles, the amount of actual hours worked has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels as the economy recovers. However, for those in the 2nd income quintile, the amount of hours in 2021 (33.1 hours) are still below pre-pandemic levels in 2019 (36.8 hours).

Additionally, when disaggregating the data by gender we see a large gap between the amount of actual hours (and a smaller gap for usual hours) worked between men and women across the years. One reason could be because non-paid work (such as care work) are not accounted for in the actual hours worked. Another reason is that the data is limited since it only accounts for people in full-time work.  

The great decline in actual hours during the COVID-19 pandemic and the bouncing back in 2021 are prominent for both men and women at a similar level. Between 2019 and 2020, women see a decline of 10.4% in London and 11.9% in the rest of England in their actual hours worked. Whereas men see a decline of 11.4% in London and 12.6% in the Rest of England. 

Total actual and total usual hours worked by gross weekly pay quintiles includes over-time hours in the main job and is limited to only full-time employees. The reference period is April to September of each year.

Actual weekly hours by gender in London and the rest of England (2010-2021)

Usual weekly hours by gender in London and the rest of England (2010-2021)