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Black and minority ethnic workers twice as likely to be unemployed as white counterparts

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Unemployment rates for Black, Minority and Ethnic (BME) workers is more than double that of white workers.

The BME unemployment rate currently stands at 6.9%, 2.2 times higher than the 3.2% for white counterparts according to figures from the latest ONS statistics report published in a report by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Unemployment among BME women (8.1%) is almost three times higher than rates for white women (2.8%). The rates are worse than in 2008, when the disparity was at 2.3 times higher for BME women.

The TUC has called for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting to improve conditions. Alongside this, the union states that businesses and unions must publish a roadmap on the steps they will take to close the employment gap between black and white workers.

The union reported that BME workers are disproportionately more likely to experience insecure and poor-quality work.

The TUC has stated that banning zero-hours contracts, reversing outsourcing, and introducing fair pay agreements across the economy are some of the ways that BME workers can be supported.

‘Racism still plays a huge part’

Paul Nowak, general secretary of the TUC, said: “It’s not right that the unemployment rate is more than twice as high for BME workers as their white peers and there’s no hiding from the fact that racism still plays a huge part in our jobs market.”

“Ministers must take bold action to confront this inequality. The obvious first step is forcing bigger companies to disclose their ethnicity pay gaps. This will make employers confront the inequalities in their own workforces – and act to fix them.”

Highlighting the urgency for change, Paul added, “Business and unions are united in their support for compulsory pay gap monitoring. Ministers must bring it in without delay.”

In April, YourMoney.com reported on the Government’s ‘Inclusive Britain’ action plan addressing ethnicity pay gap reporting challenges, and how it would support employers looking to promote greater fairness in the workplace.