One million young workers will leave London before turning 33

The number of young workers leaving London is on the rise, according to Totaljobs research

Since 2014 more than a 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 among workers aged 25 to 34, the majority (54%) of them having given up hope of ever owning property in the capital.

The new research, taken from extensive analysis of ONS data as well as the views of 2,000 Londoners, shows that there has also been a 49% increase in outbound migration of those in their thirties over the past five years.

This trend is set to grow, with a quarter (25%) 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.

One in three UK graduates move to London, in a trend known as the ‘brain drain’, meaning that of the 6.9 million working-age adults in London a third have moved there from elsewhere in the UK.

However, this research indicates that the ‘brain drain’ could be slipping into reverse.

Geraint Johnes, professor of economics at Lancaster University, commented: “The analysis has revealed a large increase in net migration out of London among those in their thirties and suggests that this trend is likely to accelerate into the future with 41% of 25- to 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.”

Johnes suggested this trend is likely to have consequences for businesses.

He added: “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.”

The research was carried out by Totaljobs, which commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 UK adults who currently live and work in London between 5 February and 14 February 2020.