The Office for National Statistics has published its latest Labour Market statistics, including the latest employment levels for ethnic minorities.
Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community responds: “Whilst we welcome the increase in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employment in today’s figures, we need to know more about the quality of jobs BAME employees are in. The TUC report ‘Living on the margins’ found that BAME employees are disproportionately likely to be working in low-paid, short-term roles or on zero-hours contracts, and if the increase in BAME employment is in these types of roles then it is simply not sustainable. Employers must ensure that they are recruiting BAME candidates to secure and well-paid positions with opportunities for progression, which will feed the future talent pipeline and improve BAME representation at all levels within organisations.”
Key points on employment of BAME workers from August 2016 ONS Labour Force statistics (covering April-June 2016):
- BAME employment is up 78,000 on the previous three months (January-March 2016) and 139,000 up on April-June 2015.
- The employment rate for all BAME groups is up 0.3% on the previous three months and 2% up on the same period last year. For comparison, White employment rates rose by 0.3% in the last three months and 0.9% in the last year – so BAME employment rates are rising faster year-on-year than White employment rates.
- Differences between ethnic groups – employment rates dropped for Indian (0.5%), Pakistani (1%) and Bangladeshi (4.1%) groups in last three months
- Gender differences – employment rate for BAME men is down 0.3% on last three months and has dropped for all ethnic groups except Chinese men. The employment rate for BAME women has increased by 0.9% in three months, but employment rates have dropped for Pakistani (down 7.2%) and Bangladeshi women (down 0.8%).
- Unemployment rate for all BAME groups is down by 0.5% in three months and 1.6% in a year (compared to 0.1% and 0.5% for White unemployment rate) but still disparities between ethnic groups – Mixed, Pakistani and Chinese ethnic groups all saw unemployment rate increases.
Unemployment rates for BAME men are unchanged in three months but down 0.9% for BAME women in the same period.