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Unemployment by age

Key points

  • Unemployment in London is two and a half times higher for 16-24 year olds than it is for those aged 25-64.
  • There has been a convergence between London and the rest of England unemployment ratios for both age groups.
  • In London in 2007, before the recession, the unemployment ratio for 16-24 year olds was already at 11%, 1.7 percentage points higher than the 2002 low point.

Unemployment by age

What does this graph show?

The level of unemployment varies with age. The unemployment ratio for 16-24 year olds is effectively the same in both London and the rest of England in the most recent year at 10.7% and 10.6% respectively. The rate for those aged 25 to 64 is 0.8 percentage points higher in London at 4.3. This means unemployment in London is two and a half times higher for 16-24 year olds than it is for those aged 25-64.

The graph shows that compared to the earlier years, there has been a convergence between London and the rest of England unemployment ratios, with London historically tending to be higher. In the 1990s, the 16-24 unemployment ratio was almost two percentage points higher on average in London (in 1995 it was 13.7% compared to 10.7%). This was also the case for the 25-64 ratio; in 1995 the level in London was 8% compared to 5.3% in the rest of England. This gap fell steadily throughout the 2000s.

Strikingly, the unemployment ratios for 16-24 year olds started increasing well before the recession in 2008, whereas the impact for those aged 25-64 was much smaller in both London and the rest of England. In London in 2007, before the recession, the unemployment ratio for 16-24 year olds was already at 11%, 1.7 percentage points higher than the 2002 low point. The ratio then rose a further 2.9 percentage points to its 2013 peak.

Data used

Labour Force Survey, ONS.

Indicator last updated: 21 October 2015