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Black and Asian unemployment rates are more than double that of whites

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The unemployment rate among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) workers is more than double that of their white counterparts, new figures show.

The gap has widened significantly since the pandemic began, with the unemployment rate for BME workers currently standing at 7.7 percent, compared to 3.5 percent for white workers, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Annual averages of the unemployment gap over the past 20 years show it is now the widest since 2008, an analysis by the Trades Union Congress highlights.

It comes as the Bank of England has forecast a recession in the UK as inflation is set to rise above 10 per cent by October – the highest rate in 40 years.

Black households have been disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis, with the majority of households having less than £1,500 in savings and are more likely to go hungry. The Independent recently unveiled.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), calls on the government to “challenge” structural racism that leads to job inequality.

“BME workers have borne the brunt of the economic impact of the pandemic – in any industry where jobs have been lost to the impact of Covid, BME workers have been more likely to become unemployed,” the union boss said.

“Now BME workers are held back from their job search. The pandemic held up a mirror to discrimination in our labor market.

“As we begin construction, the time for excuses and delays is over. Ministers must tackle the systemic racism and inequality that is holding BME workers back at work.”

The TUC analysis shows that the unemployment rate for Black and Asian workers is now 1.9 percentage points (33 percent) higher than before the pandemic; for white workers it is 0.1 percentage points (2 percent) higher.

As the nation continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, these stark disparities show that the employment rate of ethnic minority workers is recovering more slowly than that of white workers.

According to the TUC, the data shows that BME workers, who have been disproportionately hit by Covid-related job losses as a result of the pandemic, are now significantly more likely to be trapped in unemployment than their white counterparts.

Recently, black, Asian and ethnic women were found to be twice as likely as white men to have zero-hour contracts, prompting activists to call for the government to publish its long-delayed employment law – ostensibly to better protect workers’ rights – and to ban unstable types of working arrangements.

Plans to introduce the law have been scraped from this month’s Queen’s Speech, government officials confirmed last month, marking the second straight year that it has been postponed.

Around this time last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation, the unemployment rate for black and ethnic minority workers was rising three times faster than the unemployment rate for white workers. A February Public Affairs Committee report revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was unable to explain this gross discrepancy.

Now activists are demanding an end to the structural discrimination and inequalities that hold minority groups back in the workplace.

The TUC is urging employers to work with unions to put in place a comprehensive ethnic monitoring system, covering reporting of ethnic pay gaps, hiring, promotions and a range of other procedures.

The union is also calling on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to work with unions to use their investigative powers and their newly established Racial Discrimination Fund to address racial discrimination in all labor market sectors.

In addition, the TUC said that introducing racial equality requirements into public sector contracts for the supply of goods and services would encourage companies to improve their racial equality policies and practices and commit to the use of zero-hour, fixed-term and agency contracts Minimize and encourage permanent employment.

The Government and EHRC have been asked for comments.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jobs-black-asian-unemployment-rate-statistics-b2072994.html Black and Asian unemployment rates are more than double that of whites

Bobby Allyn

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