Unemployment rate

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

Unemployment rate over time (2004/05 - 2018/19)

Unemployment has more than halved in Inner London since 2012/13, from 9.7% of the economically active population to 4.5% in 2018/19. In Outer London, the unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 9.2% in 2011/12 to 4.7% in 2018/19. Unemployment is consistently higher in London than in England as a whole, where the rate stood at 3.9% in 2018/19.

Unemployment rose after 2007/08 as a result of the financial crisis but had recovered by 2013/14 in Inner London, 2014/15 in England as a whole and 2015/16 in Outer London. Since then, unemployment rates have steadily fallen both in London and England overall. 

The last decade has also seen the convergence of unemployment rates in Inner London, Outer London and England. In 2004/05, the unemployment rate in Inner London was almost 75% higher than in England. By 2018/19, the difference between the two was only 15%. 

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.