GMB London calls on govt to add local dimension to new industrial strategy

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GMB London calls on Government to add local dimension to new industrial strategy as study shows 16 areas in London falling below UK average for economic prosperity.

It is essential that Government recognises that there has to be regional and geographical dimensions to any successful industrial strategy says GMB London.

GMB London region responded to the publication earlier last week of the new Government industrial strategy. [See notes to editors for copy of the press release from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy].

GMB London region has published figures for all London boroughs which show the different levels of economic activity by the working age population across the capital. 

In Wandsworth 85% of the population aged 16 to 64 are economically active. This is the highest in the capital.  The next 5 are Richmond upon Thames with 84.6%, Lambeth with 83.6%, Bexley with 83.3%, Southwark with 83% and Merton with 82.8%.

By contrast the lowest are Kensington and Chelsea with only 71.7% of the 16 to 64 year olds who are economically active, Barking and Dagenham with 72.3%, Camden with 73.2, Westminster with 73.7% and Hackney with 74%. 

The London economic activity rate is 78.3% and the overall UK figure is 77.7%. London is the fourth highest in the UK behind the South West at 80.8%, South East at 80.6% and Eastern at 79.9%.

The table below has the figures for all 33 London boroughs.  See notes to editors for sources and definitions. 

Annual Population Survey - Oct 2015-Sep 2016    
    Economic activity rate - aged 16-64
    number %
  United Kingdom 31,839,800 77.7
  London 4,630,300 78.3
1 Wandsworth 193,200 85.0
2 Richmond upon Thames 107,000 84.6
3 Lambeth 203,300 83.6
4 Bexley 126,900 83.3
5 Southwark 186,200 83.0
6 Merton 113,400 82.8
7 Sutton 106,000 82.4
8 Croydon 201,800 81.8
9 Havering 126,700 80.8
10 Lewisham 169,100 80.3
11 Waltham Forest 145,200 79.8
12 Greenwich 146,500 79.4
13 Bromley 159,700 78.8
14 Hammersmith and Fulham 98,900 78.5
15 Ealing 176,400 78.2
16 Hillingdon 154,800 78.0
17 Tower Hamlets 172,700 77.9
18 Barnet 192,500 76.6
19 Haringey 148,500 76.6
20 Hounslow 140,300 76.5
21 Harrow 122,200 76.5
22 Islington 129,800 76.3
23 Newham 176,400 76.0
24 Kingston upon Thames 89,500 76.0
25 Redbridge 147,300 75.5
26 City of London 7,300 75.1
27 Brent 164,700 74.9
28 Enfield 159,100 74.9
29 Hackney 146,200 74.0
30 Westminster 123,100 73.7
31 Camden 124,700 73.2
32 Barking and Dagenham 92,600 72.3
33 Kensington and Chelsea 78,200 71.7

Warren Kenny, GMB London region secretary, said

“GMB London region welcome the recognition by the Government that it, on behalf of the citizens, has a role to play in supporting and promoting an industrial strategy to lift economic growth and prosperity in all boroughs of the capital. 

As the table above shows there are parts of the capital where the levels of economic activity by the work age population is way below the levels of some of the more prosperous parts of the capital. This lower level of economic activity is linked to the relative decline in the economies of these areas.

GMB London region is ready to work with all the players across the region to input into Government plans to develop viable industrial strategies for each area.

We need London boroughs and elected political figures to take initiatives to bring together employers, unions and educational bodies to feed into this process.

It is essential that Government recognises that there has to be regional and geographical dimensions to any successful industrial strategy. GMB consider this to be essential to bringing the economies of all parts of the capital up to the level of the most prosperous parts.”


Contact: Keith Williams 07710 631339; Shaun Graham 07885 706556; Tony Warr 07710 631336

Notes to editors: 

1) Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Press Release on ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’:

We want to build an industrial strategy that addresses long-term challenges to the UK economy. Our aim is to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.

This green paper sets out our vision for a modern industrial strategy and some early actions we have committed to take. It aims to start a genuinely open and collaborative conversation about the skills, research, infrastructure and the other things we need to get right to drive long term growth in productivity.

The green paper sets out how we propose to build our industrial strategy. It is not intended to be the last word, but to start a consultation.

We hope anyone with an interest will respond. We welcome your comments as part of a broad discussion on the approach and ideas we have set out, in order to make the industrial strategy effective in delivering an economy that works for everyone.

2) Source: Annual Population Survey from the Office for National Statistics. Annual Population Survey is residence based and a continuous household survey covering the UK.

The data is for the economic activity rate of those aged 16-64. Economically Active people are those either in employment or unemployed.

The APS is the source recommended for employment-related statistics, such as estimates of the number of people in employment or unemployed.