London has become increasingly specialised in high-skilled services since the mid-1990s and in science and technology more recently. ONS data suggest that Real Estate activities (14.9%); Financial and Insurance activities (14.4%); Professional, scientific and technical activities (13.3%); and Information and Communication (12.2%) were the largest London industries in 2018 in terms of Gross Value Added. In terms of shares of employment, the leading sectors in 2019 were Professional, scientific and technical activities (13.3%); Wholesale & retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (10.7%); Administrative & support services (10.3%); and Human health & social work activities (9.6%).
There are however other ways to assess sector’s importance in a dynamic economy beyond shares of shares of output and employment. The Economic Development Strategy has identified a number of (often new and cross-cutting) priority sectors for achieving a fairer and sustainable future economy for London, while the Local Industrial Strategy Evidence Base has also identified key R&D sectors.