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11% of workers from ethnic minority background

Published 13/04/2016

More workers are from ethnic minorities than ever before, new figures show
More workers are from ethnic minorities than ever before, new figures show

The British workforce is more diverse than at any point in history, with one in nine employees now from an ethnic minority background.

The difference in employment rates between the overall population and ethnic minorities is also at its smallest for over 20 years.

But the proportion of people out of work who are from minority backgrounds is at its highest since current records began.

The new figures, from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), show that roughly 11% of Britain's 30 million workforce are from an ethnic minority background - up from 4% two decades ago.

This is broadly in line with how the population as a whole has changed. Ethnic groups made up 5% of British citizens in 1995 compared with 12% in 2015.

There is slightly higher diversity among the male workforce than for females. Almost one in eight men of working age are now from an ethnic minority background, while the figure for women is closer to one in 10.

There is also a difference in representation among types of job.

According to the DWP, people from ethnic minority groups are more likely to be employed in accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, and human health and social work.

They are less likely to be employed in the manufacturing, construction and education sectors.

In addition, the figures show:

:: Of those of working age and currently unemployed, around one in five (22%) is from an ethnic minority group: double the number for 20 years ago (11%).

:: Unemployment rates vary among Britain's different ethnic communities. Among the Indian population the jobless rate is 6.4%, while among the black population it is 14%. Both are higher than the equivalent figure for Britain's white population (4.8%).

:: The employment rate gap - the difference in employment rates between the overall population and ethnic minorities - was 11.1 percentage points in 2015. This is down from 17.3 points in 1995.

:: Employment rates for ethnic minorities as a whole saw a greater increase year-on-year (1.4 percentage points) than that of the total population (0.9 points).

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