News - London

London at night: an evidence base for a 24-hour city Executive report November 2018
Joanne Ray
/ Categories: News, London

London at night: an evidence base for a 24-hour city Executive report November 2018

London at night: an evidence base for a 24-hour city Executive report November 2018


This report brings together a range of research and data on London at night. It reveals that, between 6pm and 6am, the city is buzzing with social, cultural and economic activity.

The demand for night time activities in London looks set to increase over the next 20 years

London is a growing city, with the population expected to reach 10.8 million by 2041 - up from 8.8 million in 2017. At the same time London remains one of the most visited cities in the world. Demand for visitor accommodation in London is projected to reach 196.4 million nights by 2041, up from 138.5 million nights in 2015. The number of people who enjoy London’s nightlife is increasing and London’s jobs market is growing as fast at night as during the day.

The number of pubs continues to decline. However, employment in pubs is growing.

What you need to know about London night work

  • A third of everyone working in London works at night – that is 1.6 million people

  • Of this group, 191,000 work in Health and 178,000 in Professional services. There are 168,000 in Culture and leisure, representing 50 per cent of all workers in the sector

  • But night work does not pay well for everyone. Over half – 53 per cent – of night time employee jobs in Culture and leisure pay less than the London Living Wage hourly rate

  • And almost twice as many employee jobs in night time occupations earn below the London Living Wage – 531,000 – compared to employee jobs across all other occupations – 275,000

  • Employee jobs in night time industries are growing faster than employee jobs in London’s wider economy. Between 2001 and 2017, the sector grew by 2.2 per cent a year compared to 2 per cent overall

Jobs in the night time industries are distributed across London, and have been growing in all parts of the city:

  • All London local authorities (except Croydon) have seen growth in employee jobs in night time industries, and the four categories, over the period 2001 to 2017

Night time occupations

The number of night time workers has increased in proportion with the number of workers in London’s wider economy between 2007 to 2017. Since 2009, the strongest growth in night time workers in absolute numbers has been in:

  • Accommodation and food service

  • Administration and support services

The corresponding findings for occupations are:

  • Professional Occupations; Caring, Leisure, and other service occupations; and, Sales and Customer Service Occupations had the fastest growing numbers of night time workers over the period 2007 – 17

  • The occupation with the highest proportion of night time workers is Process, Plant and Machine Operatives, at 49 per cent

  • Professional Occupations, Associate Professionals and Technical Occupations and Managers, Directors and Senior Officials are the largest occupations in London. Together they account for 59 per cent of the total 1.6-million-night time workers

Night time workers                                                                                                                                                       

Of those in work, men are more likely to work at night, as are people aged 45-49, BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) Londoners, and residents of inner London:

Some 62 per cent of night time workers in 2017 were men. This percentage has remained constant since 2007

  • Around a third - 34 per cent - of BAME workers are night time workers. This compares to 31 per cent of all workers

  • For the UK, it is in work 25-29-year olds who are most likely to work at night

Read the full report here -