Covid lockdown UK: Young black workers are three times more likely to be unemployed than whites

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Young black workers are three times as likely to be unemployed as whites with over 40 percent unemployed – as high as the time of Brixton riots

  • Young black workers are three times more likely to be unemployed than white workers
  • ONS figures show that 41.6% of black people aged 16-24 were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2020
  • The unemployment rate among black youth corresponds to the period of the Brixton riots in the 1980s

Young black workers are three times as likely to be unemployed as white workers, with more than 40 percent jobless as further damning evidence of the damage done to the economy by shutting down the coronavirus.

Between October and December last year, 41.6 percent of black people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed – the highest rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Unemployment among black youth was level with the early 1980s, when the Brixton riots broke out. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among white workers was about 12 percent, the Guardian reports.

Before the pandemic, between January and March 2020, 10 percent of young white workers were unemployed, compared to 25.3 percent of young black people.

Between October and December last year, 41.6 percent of black people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed.  Before the pandemic, between January and March 2020, 10 percent of young white workers were unemployed, compared to 25.3 percent of young black people

Between October and December last year, 41.6 percent of black people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed. Before the pandemic, between January and March 2020, 10 percent of young white workers were unemployed, compared to 25.3 percent of young black people

ONS figures show that the unemployment rate among young black people is up 64.4 percent, compared to 17 percent for their white counterparts nine months later.

Economists fear that young black people will be the victims of the Covid-19 economic crisis and warn of the high risk of ‘hypercyclic unemployment’ for black youth, which could increase unemployment rates among minority ethnic communities higher than among white people.

It comes two weeks after the government-mocked report on racial inequality said that the pay gap between ethnic and white minority workers is currently at its lowest level in nearly a decade at 2.3 percent.

In 1981, the year of the Brixton riots, 18.7 percent of black youth were unemployed, compared to 17.2 percent of young white people, according to an analysis by the General Household Survey.

A year later, the rate shot up to 41.8 percent for young black people, compared to 22.9 percent for their white counterparts.

Regents Street in central London on April 7, 2021 prior to the relaxation of the third lockdown

Regents Street in central London on April 7, 2021 prior to the relaxation of the third lockdown

Regents Street in central London on April 7, 2021 prior to the relaxation of the third lockdown

Sarah Arnold, a senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, said young ethnic minority workers already had a disproportionate chance of finding less secure jobs before the pandemic.

Halima Begum, the director of the Runnymede Trust, told the Guardian she was ‘absolutely shocked’ by the numbers and called on the government to recognize the great “job vulnerability” in BAME communities,.

The RVS said the data was weighted based on official 2018 population projections, included estimates of the number of 16- to 24-year-olds in the labor market, and has not been seasonally adjusted.

A government spokesman said: ‘Before the pandemic, we had made solid progress in lifting the labor force participation rate of ethnic minorities to a record high, closing the unemployment gap, and we remain committed to these efforts.

Our Jobs Plan plays an important role in lending a helping hand to young people of all backgrounds on their return journey to work, be it creating more than 150,000 jobs through the Kickstart program … recruit new work coaches. ‘

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