New analysis from the Trades Union Congress, analysing ONS figures, has revealed that the unemployment rate for BME workers has tripled compared to the unemployment rate among their white counterparts.

The figures suggest that Black and minority ethnic workers have suffered unemployment disproportionately compared to white workers, with the unemployment rate for BME workers rising from 6.1 per cent to 8 per cent, which is a 31 per cent increase.

In contrast, the unemployment rate for white workers rose from 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent, an increase of 11 per cent.

Speaking to the Mirror, Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities Marsha De Cordova said the figures “provide more evidence of the deep racial inequalities” that permeate the UK labour market, and of “structural racism” as a whole.

She added:

The Government must no longer deny and dismiss the existence of structural racism. As we emerge from the pandemic, we need an equal recovery that leaves no community behind.

This comes as Guardian analysis found that young black workers in particular have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic in relation to work, with more than 40 per cent unemployed.

This figure is three times worse than white workers of the same age.

As the country emerges from the pandemic, many are optimistic about the UK labour market, with soaring job vacancies and a falling unemployment rate, measured at 4.7 per cent in the three months to June.

However, some are conscious that in spite of this, discrimination continues to hold BME workers back, with TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commenting:

BME workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic. They’ve been more likely to be in low-paid, insecure work and have been put at greater risk from the virus. They’ve also been more likely to work in industries that have been hit hard by unemployment, like hospitality and retail.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we can’t allow these inequalities in our jobs market to continue. Ministers must take decisive action to hold down unemployment, create good new jobs and challenge the discrimination that holds BME workers back.





Megan McElroy is a second year English Literature student at the University of Warwick. As Editorial Intern for HRreview, her interests include employment law and public policy. In relation to her degree, her favourite areas of study include Small Press Publishing and political poetry.