Reasons for worklessness

Numbers of non-working men and women aged 16-64 in London (2019/20 Q1 and 2020/21 Q3)

Reasons for not working for men and women aged 16-64 in London (2019/20 Q1 and 2020/21 Q3)

This indicator shows the reasons for not working for men and women, as well as the number of working-age people who are not working in London.

The number of men who are not working increased from 2019/20 to 2020/21 from 600,000 to 680,000, while the number of women who are not working stayed similar, around 900,000. The increase in the number of non-working men is likely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is largely fuelled by a rise in unemployment from 130,000 to 165,000, an increase of 25%. The number of students, retired and inactive men also increased.

The largest difference between men and women is the proportion of those who do not work because they are looking after their family or home. While only 4% of non-working men fall in this category, 29% of women do.

The proportion of women who cite looking after family or home as their reason for not working has fallen in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20 from 36% to 29%, and so did the absolute number (330,000 to 209,000). On the contrary, the proportion of women who were unemployed increased 11% to 17%, with the absolute number rising from 97,000 to 155,000. This change in composition is likely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of unemployed non-working men increased substantially in the same time-frame, from 21% to 24%, while the proportion of those looking after family/home stayed at around 4%.

The proportion of temporarily sick women increased from 1.1% to 1.7%, while the proportion of men fell from 1.9 to 1.4%.