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Worklessness by ethnicity

Key points

  • Unemployment is highest among people of Black ethnicity at 11%, the next highest rate was among those of mixed ethnicity at 8% and lowest was among those of White ethnicity at 4%.
  • Economic inactivity is highest among Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups at 38%.
  • Combining unemployment and inactivity, levels of worklessness were highest among Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups.

Worklessness by ethnicity

What does this graph show?

This graph shows worklessness by ethnicity. On the left it shows the proportion of working-age people that are unemployed and on the right the proportion who are workless but not unemployed (those who are not actively seeking work and available to start work). It shows that unemployment is highest among people of Black ethnicity at 11%, the next highest rate was among those of mixed ethnicity at 8%; the lowest was among those of White ethnicity at 4%. Compared to 10 years earlier, the level of unemployment is slightly higher in 2014 than 2004 among Black ethnic groups and slightly lower among Mixed, Indian and Other ethnic groups. Whilst these changes are small and not statistically significant it appears as though that the higher unemployment levels among Black ethnic groups in London have not improved whilst for other ethnic minorities it has.

In terms of the proportion of people who are economically inactive, it is highest among Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups at 38%. Previous editions of this report have shown that this is largely due to particularly high levels of economic inactivity among Pakistani and Bangladeshi women and that this gender gap is less pronounced among other ethnic groups. The proportion of working-age people who are economically inactive fell across all ethnic groups excluding those of mixed ethnicity for whom it was unchanged.

Taking unemployment and economic inactivity together, levels of worklessness were highest among Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. Also, overall levels of worklessness were lower for all ethnic groups in 2014 than in 2004. So the rise in unemployment among Black ethnic groups was more than countered by the fall in economic activity.

Data used

Labour Force Survey, ONS.

Indicator last updated: 20 October 2015