Socialist Worker

Black unemployment worse in Britain than US, report shows

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2298

Black unemployment is rising sharply (Pic: Smallman )

Black unemployment is rising sharply (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Black people are more likely to be unemployed in Britain than in the US, according to a study released today, Friday.

Today, some 56 percent of young black men in Britain are without work—up from 29 percent in 2008.

The report accuses the government of “failing to protect minority ethnic groups”.

The Manchester University study reveals that black men have suffered the most in British recessions. In the early 1980s 29 percent were unemployed. The figure stood at 36 percent in the early 1990s and 22 percent last year.

The figures for the US during the same recessions show 22 percent, 17 percent and 22 percent unemployed.

During the same periods, there was also a higher rate of unemployment for black women in Britain than in the US.

Some 25 percent of black women were unemployed in Britain in the early 1980s, 26 percent in the early 1990s and 17 percent last year.

In the US the results for the same recessions were 20 percent, 12 percent and 13 percent.

Gary McFarlane, a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for next month’s London Assembly elections, said the findings showed “institutional racism run riot”.

“What's amazing is that the majority do keep plugging away with applications and interviews despite the obstacles,” said Gary.

“I spoke to some young people during the riots. They were amazed when I pointed out that if they put the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham as their address, employers would probably throw the application in the bin.

Gary added that “a huge fight by unions and the community is needed to drive back this racism”.

Visit the TUSC website at

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Fri 13 Apr 2012, 15:55 BST
Issue No. 2298
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