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Regional Profiles: Economy - London, May 2012

Released: 30 May 2012 Download PDF

Also in this release

Industry distribution of GVA in London and the UK, 2009

Selected industries

Percentage of GVA from selected industries in London and the UK
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. Workplace based gross value added (GVA) headline estimates at current basic prices. Estimates of workplace based GVA allocate incomes to the region in which the economic activity takes place
  2. Industries defined according to the Standard Industrial Classification 2007

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London is by far the largest contributor to the economy among the English regions and countries of the UK. It makes its greatest contribution from financial and insurance activities. However the unemployment rate was one of the highest.

In 2010 London’s headline gross value added (GVA) was over £274 billion. It represented 22 per cent of the UK total, the largest regional share.

London was responsible for 46 per cent of the total UK GVA from the financial and insurance activities sector. The sector contributed the most to London’s GVA (22 per cent in 2009) followed by professional, scientific and technical activities (12 per cent) and information and communication (10 per cent). This compares with 10 per cent, 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively, for the UK. GVA by industry in the UK interactive map allows users to see how other industries contribute to the GVA of the area.

London houses a major world financial centre and a range of business specialisms which attract a highly skilled workforce. London residents (aged 16 to 64 and working) are more likely to be employed in managerial, professional or associate professional and technical occupations, compared with the UK (54 and 43 per cent respectively in 2011).

London’s employment rate was 67.5 per cent in the period October to December 2011, below the average of 70.3 per cent for the UK. The unemployment rate was 10.0 per cent compared with 8.4 per cent for the UK. On both measures London rates were similar to Yorkshire and The Humber and below the North East. Within London the highest model-based unemployment rate for the year to September 2011 was in Newham at 15.2 per cent. Investigate how unemployment rates have changed over time at regional level.

London has a rapid turnover of businesses. In 2010 it had the highest birth and death rates among UK regions at 13 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. This compares with the averages for the UK of 10 and 13 per cent respectively.

Productivity, as measured by GVA per hour worked, was 33 per cent above the England average in 2010, the highest for all the regions of England and countries of the UK.

Gross disposable household income (GDHI) per head of London residents was the highest of all regions. At £20,200 in 2010 it was 29 per cent higher than the UK average. GDHI per head in Outer London was £17,890 and in Inner London it was £23,850.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes:

    The data section of this release provides more economic data.

    Gross value added (GVA) is a key measure of economic performance. The data are consistent with the headline workplace based series, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work.

    Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) defines the industries.

    Employment by occupation data from Annual Population Survey (APS), July 2010–June 2011.

    Routine occupations refers to SOC 2010 major group 9 Elementary occupations; occupations requiring higher qualifications refers to major groups 1 to 3 covering Managers and senior officials, Professional occupations, and Associate professional and technical occupations.

    Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators. Regional employment and economic inactivity rates are data for all people aged 16 to 64. Subregional data are from the APS, October 2010-September 2011.

    Labour market indicators are defined in the Glossary.

    Local Labour Market webpage provides access to the latest releases for employment, unemployment, inactivity, claimant count and other labour market data.

    Model-Based Estimates of ILO Unemployment for LAD/UAs cover all people aged 16 or over.

    Business Demography 2010 includes definitions of active enterprises, births and deaths. Further releases for businesses by region are available.

    Labour productivity webpage provides access to the latest releases. The Productivity handbook looks at measuring productivity at a regional level. The Subregional productivity March 2012 article provides analysis at a subregional level.

    GVA per head interactive map shows how GVA varies relative to the population of an area. GVA per head is not a measure of productivity.

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments.

  2. Source:

    All data are published by ONS.

  3. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit the National Archives website or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

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