June 26, 2012
Emerging Leaders was founded with a focus on attraction, retention, and engagement of the 20 to 44 year old demographic. We focused our questions on the availability and quality of work and how likely was it that respondents would choose to remain in London. This survey gives a valuable snapshot of where we are as a city and how this demographic views working and staying in London.
Learning - other sources
According to a 2007 LEDC report titled London’s Workforce - Historical Trends and Forecast for the Future, “London also significantly lacks people in the 15-24 years old labour force category. Our growth in this age group (-4.36%) is much lower than other communities.” It goes on to say, “It is logical to predict that if everything remains the same, London will not have enough people to take up positions in the jobs vacated by the retiring population.”
We are aware the unemployment rate in London hovers around 8.6% but for the youth demographic it is much higher, often 14%. As older members of our workforce were hit by the decline of the economy and were displaced from their jobs they sought employment at lower levels of job entry. The greatest increase in employment is seen in the 45+ demographic.
What we learned from this survey
Of the 280 respondents, 83.7% were between the ages of 20 and 44, and of these 47.9% were between the ages of 30 to 44. We also know that the majority, 63.9%, had a Bachelor’s degree or higher and that 58.4% of them had full time employment. While 60% of respondents have full employment 21.6% are unemployed or underemployed, and 70.6% reported that it was somewhat or very difficult to find employment in the career of their choice in London. Of note is the 20.6% of respondents who said they were not likely to remain in London in the next 10 years and the 36.5% who said they were only somewhat likely to remain in London over the same time frame.
Qualitative Analysis - What else respondents wanted us to know
We asked respondents “Is there anything else you want us to know about your work experience in London?” Overwhelmingly the comments reinforce the difficulty of finding work in London, with a number of comments underlining that respondents leave London for work opportunities in other cities.
We found that some of the recurrent themes were of low paying work, difficulty finding work unless you have a strong personal network, and the difficulty of moving beyond entry level and mid level management positions into more senior roles.
Of note were also the comments concerning difficulty finding work due to lack of experience. This would seem to reinforce the growth in segments of the older labour market and the success of the older demographic in finding work.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Emerging Leaders believes that the single greatest deterrent to sustained growth is the loss of talent amongst the 20 to 44 year old workforce in London. We recognize, as do others, that there is an urgency around creating partnerships to keep and attract this critical demographic within London. Without this effort we will continue to under perform compared to other cities in our area.
Over the summer Emerging Leaders will consult with Government, our community partners, and our membership to create options to partner and move forward. At our Annual General Meeting, September 13th 2012, we will announce the results of our consultation.
In the link below you will find the full report including breakouts and numbers for each question of the survey as well as comments