Welcome to the second edition of The London Intelligence, a quarterly review of data under five major themes – demography, economy, infrastructure and housing, society, health and environment. This issue has a spotlight focus on recent education data.
Data over the last quarter suggests that London’s ‘soft power’ is holding the capital in good stead in the face of Brexit and recent terrorist attacks. We’ve seen an uptick in international visitors and spending, while unemployment is at a record low and gradual job growth continuing. However, property market and migration indicators suggest continuing uncertainty.
London pupils continue to outperform the English average at Key Stage 4, but performance dips by the time they take A-Levels and other level 3 qualifications. Fewer Londoners take up apprenticeships or go straight into work after school than the national average (18 vs 30 per cent), and more go on to higher education (61 vs 51 per cent).
There was a significant fall in the number of foreign nationals registering for a National Insurance Number in London in Q2. This was caused almost exclusively by a fall in EU workers. EU registrations were at their lowest level since 2014, while non-EU registrations have remained relatively constant over the last few years.
Visitor numbers for 63 of London’s major attractions, particularly those that charge, saw strong year-on-year growth for the quarter to June 2017. Despite a number of incidents in spring and early summer, terrorism fell sharply off the list of Londoners’ top concerns in Q3, while housing crept up to fourth.
House prices in the capital fell marginally year-on-year to August 2017 for the first time since June 2011. The property market is subdued, with low transaction numbers. Housing pipeline and completions show a more promising picture, with 25,000 new units started in the year to June.
Background levels of smaller particulates (PM2.5) – which have the most damaging health effects – were up 11 per cent from July to September 2017. This is above World Health Organisation and EU limits. Future data releases should show any effects of the T-Charge.
The number of international visitors and their average spend increased in Q2, compared to the same period in 2016. This reflects the impact of the sterling’s depreciation on tourism. Meanwhile. unemployment is at an historic low, but job growth is slowing and business sentiment remains cautious, though it has recovered since early summer.