A million young workers set to leave London in their 30s

(4 minutes to read)

ONS figures show a sharp increase (26%) in the number of workers in their 20s leaving London since 2017, with over 100,000 leaving in 2018 alone.

New research has revealed that the number of young workers looking to leave London is on the rise.

This is according to figures from Totaljobs and Professor of Economics at Lancaster University, Geraint Jones.

The data, taken from extensive analysis of ONS statistics, as well as the views of 2,000 Londoners, shows that since 2014, more than one million professionals have left London, with just 900,000 coming in. This is a net loss of 88 workers every day, with the biggest shortfall down to workers aged 25-34, with the majority (54%) of them having given up hope of ever owning property in the capital. There has been a 49% increase in outbound migration of those in their 30s over the last five years.

Looking ahead, this trend is expected to grow with a quarter of London’s millennials already planning to move away from the capital. This could amount to a further one million workers leaving London, with inbound migration falling short in replacing them. Totaljobs estimates the average age of a worker leaving the capital is 32 years and eight months– an age which could be set to get younger.

More than a third (38%) of those aged 25-34 surveyed by Totaljobs said that they are looking to leave the capital earlier than they initially expected to, and as they think about their futures, the biggest factor for driving a move is London’s high cost of living (30%).

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1 in 5 millennials are planning on leaving in order to get their foot on the property ladder or upsize their current home. While, for many, more emotional factors are at play, with 1 in 4 leaving to start a family, 14% looking for better schools, and 12% wanting to spend more time with their children. A slower pace of life is a draw for a quarter (23%), while 16% have concerns over the capital’s crime rate.

Geraint Johnes, Professor of Economics at Lancaster University, explained, “This analysis has revealed a large increase in net migration out of London among those in their 30s and suggests that this trend is likely to accelerate into the future with 41% of 25-34 year olds looking to move out of the capital in the next six years. Reducing the cost of living is a major factor, while being able to afford to buy property and raise a family are major considerations in prompting a move.

“Unless a slowing housing market puts a brake on this trend, it’s likely to have important consequences for business. As young people add years of work experience to the stock of skills with which they came into the labour market, they become increasingly productive and climb the ladder, but as they leave, London businesses may find it harder to retain experienced staff and recruit into the more senior managerial roles.”

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