Socialist Worker

Black people suffer worst from unemployment, figures show

Issue No. 2311

New figures released by the House of Commons library show how rising unemployment has hit ethnic minorities harder than the population in general.

Some 8 percent of workers in Britain are jobless. But among Asians the rate is 12 percent—and among African-Caribbeans it is 18 percent.

Youth unemployment shows a similar pattern. Among 16-24 year olds in general the unemployment rate is 21 percent. Among Asians it is 31 percent and among African-Caribbean it is 45 percent.

Kamaljeet Jandu, national equality officer for the GMB union, attacked the government’s lack of action over unemployment and racism.


“The government needs to acknowledge that unemployment impacts disproportionately on black and minority ethnic communities,” he told Socialist Worker.

“When you compare like with like, the only explanation we can see is discrimination in the interview process—from the job advertisement onwards.”

This impact on ethnic minorities comes at a time when austerity measures are forcing up unemployment levels in general, Kamaljeet added.

“That’s why we’re calling for a different approach,” he said. “We want a policy based on creating quality jobs and economic growth.”

The House of Commons briefing paper on unemployment and ethnic background can be downloaded from the UK Parliament website

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Mon 16 Jul 2012, 18:08 BST
Issue No. 2311
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