Londoners hit hardest by unemployment as rate set to rise

Londoners have been hit hardest by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with around 30 per cent of the UK’s job losses since February 2020 occurring in the capital.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that there was a decrease of 693,000 payrolled employees in the UK in that time, with 209,000 of them attributed to Londoners.

London also continues to see the highest rate of unemployment in the country, currently at 7.2 per cent compared to the national unemployment rate of five per cent.

The worrying figures come as research commissioned by the cross-party group London Councils estimated that almost one in ten Londoners could be unemployed by the end of the year owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Clare Coghill, London Councils’ executive member for skills and employment and leader of Waltham Forest Council, said that unemployment on this scale would have “serious and long-lasting consequences”, including “widening London’s economic and social inequalities”.

Read More: Sadiq Khan launches £6 million campaign to prevent economic hit

Cllr Coghill said: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown time and again how councils play a vital role in responding to local challenges and co-ordinating 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.”

The analysis found that young people aged 16 to 24 would be hit hardest by jobs losses, with people from BAME backgrounds likely to experience higher rates of unemployment.

Another recent study commissioned by City Hall found that in a “best-case scenario”, up to 114,000 face-to-face jobs in central London and the West End could be lost by 2023.

A drop in domestic tourists and commuters to the area led to a loss of £5.4 billion in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan this week launched a £6 million campaign aimed at supporting the safe reopening of central London’s economy and attracting visitors back to the area.

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