According to an analysis of official statistics, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) graduates are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed compared to white graduates.

The analysis, published at the end of last week by the TUC, shows that the unemployment rate for white workers with degrees is 2.3 per cent, but rises for BAME graduates to 5.9 per cent.

The findings reveal that at every level of education, jobless rates are much higher for BAME workers. So for instance, those with A-level equivalents including trade apprenticeships and vocations are 3.2 times more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts. Likewise, BAME workers with GCSE equivalents and basic level qualifications are more than twice as likely to be out of work.

These findings come on top of research carried out by the TUC earlier in the year (see LELR 456) which found that black workers with degrees earn almost a quarter (23.1 per cent) less than white workers with degrees on average.

The TUC is calling on the government to recognise the scale of the problem and has recommended that it:

  • urgently develops a race equality strategy, with clear targets and adequate resourcing
  • uses public sector contracts to improve companies’ race equality practices
  • ensures that anonymised application forms are used as standard across the public sector, and encourages more private-sector employers to also use them
  • encourages all employers to monitor the recruitment process for discrimination against BAME applicants
  • works with the private sector to improve the transparency of career progression
  • requires employers to include staff ethnicity figures in annual reports
  • directs the Equality and Human Rights Commission to undertake reviews of different sectors to improve BAME recruitment.

Jo Seery of Thompsons Solicitors commented “It is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate against applicants for jobs because of race. However, the requirement to pay a fee of £250 to lodge a tribunal claim means that those applicants who have been discriminated against in the recruitment process are unlikely to achieve justice in the courts.”

To read the analysis in more detail, go to: