As the Covid 19 pandemic continues, according to forecasts, the capitals unemployment could be at 9.4% or 464,000 by December 2021. The data as compiled by Volterra Partners on behalf of the London Councils cross party group shows how the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy revealing these grim new figures. Even as restrictions start to ease these figures could worsen to unemployment hitting 11.8%, or 580,000, by February 2022.

The report also included predictions for the different areas and demographics in London with the 16-24 age group being hit hardest making up about a third of the unemployed. Also ethnic minorities will suffer being twice as likely to be unemployed than white Londoners.

Historically unemployment in the capital is higher than in the rest of the country and despite the gap having narrowed over the past 5 years the pandemic is set to widen this gap again. In December 2020 London’s unemployment rate was 7.1 per cent, compared to 5.2 per cent across the UK more widely. 

“This analysis paints a grim picture of worsening job losses,” said Clare Coghill, London Councils’ executive member for skills & employment. “Unemployment on this scale will have serious and long-lasting consequences – including widening London’s economic and social inequalities even further.

A solution suggested by London Councils asked for a “local first” approach by unemployment services so that boroughs can offer more specialised support. Meaning that Job Centre services which are currently driven by the Department for Work and Pensions would be aligned alongside individual borough services.

“With unemployment set to be one of the key concerns of the coming months and years, we need an urgent reset of the government’s approach to tackling this issue. Rather than top-down, centralised structures, the government must empower local authorities to develop local solutions for helping our residents back into work.”