16 London boroughs have an employment rate below UK average

When Britain leaves the EU a new regional policy is absolutely essential to lift economic growth and prosperity in every part of the region says GMB London

There are 16 London Boroughs that have an employment rate below the UK average of 74 per cent according to a new study by GMB London of official employment data from the Office for National Statistics.

These are Kensington and Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Westminster, Newham, Enfield, Camden, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Redbridge, Islington, Barnet, Hackney, Greenwich and Harrow.

In Sutton, 82.4 per cent of the population aged 16-64 are in employment, the highest in London. The next 5 are City of London with 82.1 per cent, Lambeth with 81.9 per cent, Wandsworth with 80.3 per cent, Bromley with 79 per cent and Richmond upon Thames with 78.9 per cent.

By contrast the lowest are Kensington and Chelsea with only 64.5 per cent of those aged 16-64 in employment, Tower Hamlets with 65.3 per cent, Barking and Dagenham with 65.8 per cent, Brent with 67.5 per cent and Westminster with 68 per cent.

The London employment rate is 73.8 per cent and the overall UK figure is 74 per cent. The region is the fifth highest in the UK behind the South East at 77.7 per cent, South West at 77.6 per cent, Eastern at 77.2 per cent and the East Midlands at 74.7 per cent.

The table below shows Employment numbers and rates for those aged 16-64 by London boroughs, ranked by employment rate compiled by GMB London region, see notes to editors for sources and definitions.

Warren Kenny, GMB London region secretary, said,

“Several areas of London’s economy need to be thoroughly regenerated to bring to the areas new well paid jobs.

“This regeneration should be part of a much needed wider regeneration in the regions of the UK. This will not happen by accident and requires a partnership between local and national government and between public and private sectors. This should be part of a new regional policy that should be given priority in the post Brexit economy.

“The people of the less prosperous areas have to demand that all elected political office holders in the area campaign for action from national and local government to lead the regeneration of the area to end the days of these areas being at the bottom of the UK employment rate league.

“GMB call on all political parties to lead the campaign for the gap between the areas with low employment rates and other parts of the country, including the parts of London with high employment rates, to be closed.

“GMB will also seek to end the two tier workforce in the public sector so that contractor’s workers get the same terms and conditions as directly employed staff.

“Action is also needed to increase the bargaining power of lower paid workers. Employers threats and actions, like the recent sacking of shop stewards at Cineworld in London in the course of strike action on pay, is curtailing the rights of workers to join trades unions and to seek collective bargaining agreement to resist and reverse this transfer of income from labour to capital.

“This hostility is widespread and enjoys effective impunity. It is a major cause of growing inequality in the UK.

“So employers hostility is not only abusing the human rights of workers to join trades unions to hold down pay in favour of profits but it now also threatens consumer spending and increases the risk of a further recession. Dealing with this lack of bargaining power has to be part of the regeneration of the low employment rates in the less prosperous areas of the UK.

“When Britain leaves the EU a new regional policy is absolutely essential to lift economic growth and prosperity in every part of the region.”

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