World Economy

UK Minorities Less Employed Than Whites

UK Minorities Less Employed Than WhitesUK Minorities Less Employed Than Whites

Fresh figures have revealed that despite levels of unemployment falling nationally, the benefits are failing to reach Britain’s ethnic minority communities.

The statistics published by the Office for National Statistics last week show that in the first half of this year, unemployment rates for white Britons dropped by 2.4% but increased for ethnic minority people by 16.42%. It comes despite the prime minister’s pre-election pledge to implement measures to boost job creation, Voice online reported.

Commenting on the data, race equality director at Business in the Community, Sandra Kerr, said: “Year on year unemployment rates for ethnic minority people have decreased at a much slower pace than for white people, whilst quarter on quarter unemployment rates have actually increased.”

The data is a confirmation that ethnic minorities are not benefiting from employment growth in the UK, despite it being well above the average of the G7 group of advanced economies and the eurozone.

 Getting Worse

The bleak conditions of the labor market have involuntarily produced a rise in the number of Britain’s ethnic minorities forced to create their own streams of income.

Year on year self-employment rates for black, Asian  and minority  ethnic people increased by 60.1%, but decreased by 2.1% for white people.

“There’s a correlation between not being able to get a job and starting your own business. If you can’t get a job then naturally one of the solutions to that is to be your own employer,” explained Nana Agyeman of Access UK, an organization that works with young unemployed ethnic minorities.

He said, “You can look at this from two perspectives, it’s bad in a sense that it is increasingly difficult to get a job through the normal channels, but it can be perceived as a positive that we are becoming less reliant or dependent on other people to employ us.”

Kerr said the growth in self-employment is an indication that there are more sinister practices at work in keeping ethnic minorities out of the traditional labor market.

“Employment must be accessible to all people regardless of ethnicity and I have great concerns that a wider economic recovery is not fully inclusive of our ethnic minority populations,” she warned.

The crisis of black youth unemployment has made headlines since the dire statistics released in March showed that the number of 16-24 year olds from BAME communities out of work for over a year had risen by 49%.

Agyeman added: “Black Training and Enterprise Group did some great work on this last year and they found that the number one barrier to BAME people finding work is employer bias and discrimination. Black and ethnic minority people are looking for work every day and are ready and willing but it’s employers who hold the cards.”