Unemployment ratio over time

What does this chart show?

This graph shows unemployment as a proportion of the working-age population, (the unemployment ratio). This differs from the unemployment rate, which looks unemployment as a proportion of the economically active population.[1] In 2016, the unemployment ratio was slightly higher in London (4.9%) than the rest of England (3.8%). The ratio in Inner London in 2016 was 5.1%; Outer London was 4.1%.

These rates peaked during the recession at 7.8% and 7.3% for Inner and Outer respectively in 2011. They have since continued to fall, and further converged on the rest of England rate.

Over a longer time period, there has been a substantial convergence over time between London and the rest of England, mainly driven by an improvement in Inner London. In 1994, 11.9% of the working-age Inner London population were unemployed, a ratio that was substantially higher than Outer London and the rest of England. Both Outer London and the rest of England have seen falls in the proportion of the unemployed since the mid-90s but they started at a lower level and the fall has been less dramatic. This continuing fall in the level of unemployment is positive but it hides significant differences across London which is shown in the graph of unemployment ratios by borough.

[1] In 2016 78.2% of people were economically active; 84.9% for men and 71.6% for women.

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