Tackling barriers to employment and sustaining growth in productivity remain the top priorities for London, according to new analysis.
The report, prepared for mayor Ken Livingstone by the London Development Agency, showed that the capital is succeeding in improving productivity and that the workforce skills-base compares well to the rest of the UK.
But it showed that tackling the barriers to employment, particularly among disadvantaged groups, is a challenge.
London’s economic output would be higher if part-time employment rates for women with children in London were raised to equal those in the rest of the country, the report said.
The ‘economic snapshot’ is the first stage in a programme to provide benchmarks for London to measure progress towards the targets agreed in the mayor’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS), published in January 2005.
The targets include employment growth; housing completions; delivery of infrastructure projects; reducing pollution; tackling barriers to employment and enterprise; boosting the skills of the workforce; and enhancing London’s attractiveness as a destination for tourists and business.
The analysis showed that London is doing well across the board but that the challenges identified in the original EDS analyses remain substantial, said Manny Lewis, chief executive of the London Development Agency.
“Productivity among London’s businesses is high compared to the UK average but the volatility in the growth rate means that there is no room for complacency,” he said.