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Underemployment over time

Key points

  • 15% of the working-age population of London were underemployed, equivalent to 880,000 adults.
  • The biggest single component was the economically inactive who wanted work: around 6% of the working-age population or 360,000 people.
  • The underemployment ratio fell by 1.7 percentage points between 2013 and 2014, a significant decrease.

Underemployment over time

What does this graph show?

This graph shows that in 2014, 15% of the working-age population of London were underemployed, equivalent to 880,000 adults.

The biggest single component was the economically inactive who wanted work: around 6% of the working-age population or 360,000 people. Unemployed people were the next largest component, 5.5% of the working-age population or 320,000 people, then those working part-time wanting full-time work (3.6% or 210,000 people).

The underemployment ratio fell by 1.7 percentage points between 2013 and 2014, a significant decrease. This was nearly all driven by falling unemployment, which declined from 6.8% of the working-age population to 5.5%. The proportion of the population who are part-time workers wanting full-time fell by a smaller 0.3 percentage points, whereas there was no decline in those who are inactive but want work.

Despite this big fall, the total underemployment ratio in 2014 remains a percentage point higher than in the pre-crash years. The biggest contribution to this growth is the rise of part-time wanting full-time work, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than in 2008.

Data used

Regional Labour Market Statistics, ONS.

Indicator last updated: 21 October 2015