Publication

Lockdown in London: tracking the impact of coronavirus on the capital’s economy

This report, commissioned by Peabody, examines the emerging impact of the coronavirus crisis on London’s economy. It explores the latest timely data on economic outcomes to produce an as up-to-date picture as possible.

Key findings:

  • Since the economy went into lockdown in March, unemployment has increased more strongly in London than elsewhere. Between March and June 2020, the UK-wide claimant count (the number of joblessness benefits claimants) more than doubled, rising by 107%. London saw an even stronger 146% increase in unemployment on this measure – amounting to about 272,000 individuals.
  • An analysis of unemployment trends within the capital highlights that areas of Outer North London – both West & North West and East & North East – have seen the biggest percentage increase (162% and 152% respectively) in joblessness claims since March. Outer South London saw the lowest percentage increase at 129%. In terms of the absolute number of individuals claiming unemployment benefits in June 2020, this stood highest in inner East London, at 150,230, sharply up from 63,080 in March.
  • Between March and June, the London boroughs that faced the biggest increases in unemployment relative to their working age population were Haringey – with an absolute increase in 12,140 unemployment benefits claimants–Newham (15,625) and Brent (13,550). In comparison, the areas least impacted were the City of London (135), Richmond upon Thames (3,390) and Kingston upon Thames (3,545)
  • Youth unemployment has increased more strongly in London than elsewhere. In the capital, the claimant count increased by 162% among those aged 16-24 between March and June, compared with 116% across the UK as a whole for this age group.
  • Since the start of the economic lockdown in March, job vacancies in London have collapsed by 54% (comparing 15th March to 13th July). Notably, this is more than the 46% decline in vacancies seen elsewhere in the UK.
  • Household incomes in the capital, including those of lower income social housing tenants, are set to fall this year. Emerging evidence shows lower earners are more likely to have been furloughed and, as a result, to have seen a pay cut.

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