Unemployed men and women

Unemployment counts in London by sex (Mar-May 1992 to Mar-May 2021)

The number of unemployed people in London almost halved since its post-financial crisis peak in 2011 (421,000) to 209,000 in 2019. The unemployment count has increased significantly in 2021 to 329,000 people, reaching levels not seen since 2014. This increase is likely the result of the slowdown of the economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the very start of which is captured by this indicator. Other factors, such as those put on furlough and the change in inactivity within the labour market, should also be considered.

Over the past three decades, the gender split of unemployment has become more even. In 1993 there were almost two unemployed men for every unemployed woman, but by 2014 the numbers were broadly similar with 167,000 of both genders unemployed. Since then, unemployment had fallen consistently for women (91,000 in 2019) and also for men although a little less steeply (118,000 in 2019). However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on unemployment appears to be larger for women than for men, as the number of unemployed women almost doubled in 2021 from the 2019 level standing at 172,000 in the March to May quarter of 2021.