London will face a serious job shortage by the end of the decade unless another major industry can be established.

Professor Douglas McWilliams, founder and chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research - a commercial think-tank - warns 600,000 jobs could be lost by 2000.

Although London is expected to do reasonably well in the rest of the 1990s, he doubts whether economic performance is likely to create many jobs. 'To prevent London having a serious unemployment problem there will be a need to create another industry to supplement the successes of financial services and tourism.'

He believes the way forward is by developing multi-media, combining entertainment and communications. He argues that London is in an ideal position to become the European capital for the industry by using its wealth of performance talent.

'The multimedia industry has already managed to halt the decline in jobs in California and I see no reason why London, with software skills, telecommunication companies and its mix of broadcasters, record and video producers and artists of all kinds, cannot emerge as a leading player in this area.'

Another factor in the creation of the 'job gap, Professor McWilliams believes, is that 'a lot of people are telecommuting from outside London, adding to the loss of jobs in the city. 'Someone who lives in Manchester can do a job in London without having to travel there.'

To stem the decline in jobs, London has to become a more attractive place in which to live and work with good, cheap rental accommodation and low-cost high-quality public transport.