Employment in London small businesses grew by 15 per cent over the last decade

The number of people working for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in London has grown by around 15 per cent over the period 2001 to 2011, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics (release).

This report from the ONS is the second part of a two-part paper on the size of firms in London, with the first reporting that small and medium sized businesses made up around 90 per cent of London’s workplaces in the period 2001 to 2012, and that around two fifths of employees in London worked for businesses of this size.

Small and medium sized businesses are defined as those with 250 or fewer employees.

This report found that jobs in large firms were mainly concentrated in central London and around Heathrow, although there were also concentrations in places like Croydon, Uxbridge and Romford. This has seen little change as a whole over the 2001 to 2012 period, although the number of employees working for large businesses in Uxbridge has grown by more than 250 per cent (to 42,100) and declined by 23 per cent in Croydon (to 33,900)

The ONS said the number of employees working for small and medium sized businesses rose by a quarter in the period 2001 to 2012 – but suggested this growth may have been exaggerated by improvements in data collection from HM Revenue & Customs made in 2011 and 2012. Between 2001 and 2011, employment in SMEs grew by 15 per cent.