More young jobless in ethnic groups

The Government has been urged to do more to help youngsters from ethnic communities find work after a study showed they were "disproportionately" affected by unemployment.

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The Government has been urged to help youngsters from ethnic communities find work

The TUC said figures by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that last year the unemployment rate for people from the black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities was twice that of white jobseekers.

General secretary Frances O'Grady said: "The jobs picture may be slowly improving, but these figures suggest that the recovery and the return to employment are not being experienced equally across all the UK's different communities.

"Rather than leave people from some ethnic backgrounds to languish on the dole, the government should do much more to help black and Pakistani youngsters - as well as the long-term unemployed from within these communities - with targeted support so they can more easily find work."

A DWP spokesperson said: "Nationally there are more people from ethnic minorities in work than ever before. This is encouraging, but we are not complacent, we know more needs to be done to help people into jobs. That is why we introduced schemes such as the Work Programme to give people the individualised help they need.

"The diversity of this country means we need an approach that focuses on individual job seekers, rather than simply defining people's needs by their ethnicity. But where jobseekers from an ethnic group in an area have common barriers, then Jobcentre Plus and Work programme providers have the flexibility to tailor support to ensure they get the help they need to find work."

The report showed that over three million people from ethnic minorities were in work in the year to last September, up from 2.6 million in 2010.

Dr John Philpott, Director of The Jobs Economist, commented: " Although the vast majority of young unemployed people in Britain at present are white, it's clear from these figures that youth unemployment is disproportionately affecting Britain's ethnic minorities.

"The unemployment rate for whites aged 16-24 (19% in September 2013) is much lower than that for blacks (45%), young people of mixed race (26%), Indians (34%), Pakistani/Bangladeshis (46%) and Chinese (29%).

"The one glimmer of positive news in these figures is that the relative position of young people from ethnic minorities has not become markedly worse in the period since the start of the recession.

"The persistence of a large unemployment rate gap between ethnic minority and white youth nonetheless suggests that there is a larger structural element to the problem of youth unemployment for ethnic minorities that won't be solved by a stronger economic recovery alone."

Stephen Timms, shadow employment minister, said: "These figures provide more evidence that there is no recovery for young people who are facing a cost-of-living crisis. This complacent government is failing to help thousands of young people find work.

"It's deeply worrying that young black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people have twice as high rates of unemployment as the UK average.

"To address this situation, Labour would introduce a jobs guarantee for young people and take firm action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis."