London Councils – Volterra produces unemployment forecasts for the London labour market

Volterra was recently commissioned by London Councils to undertake a detailed piece of research on unemployed London residents and their future employment prospects. Essentially, the research establishes the unemployment picture across London historically, before analysing the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on unemployment in London. Several forecasting scenarios have also been laid out for the short term (to April 2021) and medium term (to September 2022).

In the core scenario, unemployment in London is predicted to reach a peak of 9.4% (464,000 people) in December 2021. Our analysis reveals that these job losses are expected to be disproportionately felt amongst certain sub-groups (demographic-based and industry-based) of the London resident population. As a result, it is suggested that a tailored approach, which has local authorities at the forefront of decision making, is required to effectively fix the scarring impacts of COVID-19 on specific segments of the labour market.

Ellie Evans, one of our senior partners, said: “This work has highlighted the scale of the unemployment challenge we are likely to face here in London.

“The capital has persistently had more of its workers supported by furlough throughout the pandemic. There are boroughs and industries that are much more sensitive to international travel and tourism which may not recover as quickly as the rest of the economy.

“This underlines the need for bespoke, localised and flexible unemployment interventions aligned with residents’ requirements and businesses’ identified skills gaps. We also must not forget the entrenched inequalities facing certain subgroups of the population. Targeted support to improve access for these groups, break down barriers and widen opportunities must remain at the forefront of policy making.”


Main Report:

A Detailed Study of Unemployment in London (March 2021) (link:

Further reading:

London Councils press release (link:

Evening Standard article (link:

Image: London skyline from David Illif via Wikimedia

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