Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers with degrees are two and half times more likely to be unemployed than white graduates, according to new analysis published by the TUC.
The analysis of official statistics shows that the unemployment rate for white workers with degrees is 2.3%. However, for BAME graduates this rises to 5.9%,
The findings reveal that at every level of education, jobless rates are much higher for BAME workers.
BAME workers with A-level equivalents including trade apprenticeships and vocations are 3.2 times more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts. And BAME workers with GCSE equivalents and basic level qualifications are more than twice as likely to be out of work.
The findings come the same day as a survey from “name-blind” headhunting platform Nottx.com which found a quarter of professional women it surveyed who had “non-white” sounding names had changed their name to get a job. This compares to around 9% of men with “non-white” sounding names. Some 78% of women said they felt both their gender and their ethnicity were barriers to employment. More than half of men believed they had been discriminated against due to their ethnicity.
TUC analysis published in February revealed that black workers with degrees are paid nearly a quarter less than their white peers – the equivalent of £4.33 an hour.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The harsh reality is that even now black and Asian people, regardless of their qualifications and experience, are far more likely to be unemployed and lower paid than white people.
“Whether they have PhDs or GCSEs, BAME workers have a much tougher time in the jobs market.
“Not only is this wrong, but it is a huge waste of talent. Companies that only recruit from a narrow base are missing out on the wide range of experiences on offer from Britain’s many different communities.
“The government’s taskforce on racism must make it harder for discriminating employers to get away with their prejudices, and also ensure that far more is done to improve access to the best courses and institutions for BAME young people.”
The TUC is calling on the government to urgently develop a race equality strategy, with clear targets and adequate resourcing; use public sector contracts to improve companies’ race equality practices; ensure anonymised application forms are used as standard across the public sector, and encourage more private-sector employers to do the same; encourage all employers to monitor the recruitment process for discrimination against BAME applicants; work with the private sector to improve the transparency of career progression; have employers include staff ethnicity figures in annual reports; and direct the Equality and Human Rights Commission to undertake reviews of different sectors to improve BAME recruitment.