Paved with gold?

Views on job quality in the capital

This Better Work Network paper looking at the priorities for employment in London and presents the key findings of original polling conducted by YouGov with Londoners on their perceptions and priorities for work.

It explores how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Londoners’ work and wellbeing, what good work means, barriers to better work and what Londoners’ priorities are for the Mayor of London over the next three years.

Key findings:

  • Londoners prioritise adequate salary, a good work/life balance and feeling valued at work in a job.
  • Almost half of London workers are currently dissatisfied with their salary and over 40% are dissatisfied with opportunities for progression. Reflecting the impacts of the pandemic on London, more than one in six have become dissatisfied with their pay since the onset of the pandemic and one in ten with opportunities for progression.
  • Nearly one in five working in London do not have a secure contract with a minimum set of hours. This rises to two in five (41%) among low-income workers, and part-time workers (44%).
  • There was a high prevalence of work-related stress impacting on workers’ well-being in the last year. Almost two in five London workers (39%) have felt unwell due to work-related stress during the last 12 months.
  • Londoners’ outlooks on their future careers appears to be largely driven by age and employment status, with older, low-income and part-time workers less likely to feel positive about future opportunities for progression.
  • Views on barriers to better work vary according to ethnicity, gender, age – highlighting inequalities in access to opportunity and individuals’ experience of discrimination. Over a quarter of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Londoners identified ethnicity as a barrier to better jobs, while 15% of women saw gender as a barrier.
  • Low-income and manual workers were more likely to cite lack of access to training opportunities and qualifications as barriers to better work.
  • With rates of in-work poverty rising, the cost of living, pay and training were at the top of Londoners’ priorities for action on employment by the Mayor of London.