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Unemployment and BAME youth

Unemployment and BAME youth

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday March 11 2015

The Guardian front page today covers the Labour Party’s forthcoming Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Manifesto amid figures released by the Office for National Statistics and analysed by the House of Commons Library which show that long term unemployment among young people of ethnic minority background has risen by 49% since the Coalition came to power in 2010.

The number of young BME people, 16 – 24 years, who are classified as long term unemployed is 41,000, a near 50% increase on the figure from 2010.

The Guardian notes that while “there was a fall of 1% in overall long-term youth unemployment and a 2% fall among young white people” the figure of BME young people appears to be rising.

Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP called the figures “astonishing” adding that a generation of young people were being thrown onto the “scrapheap” and “what compounds it is that a disproportionate number are black, asian, minority ethnic.”

The issue of disproportionately high unemployment among some ethnic minorities and the “ethnic penalty” they face in the UK labour market has been a subject of policy since the 2003 Cabinet Office report into Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market and subsequent reports by the National Equality Panel,Equality and Human Rights Commission and the all party parliamentary group on race and community.

Despite evidence dating back over a decade, little progress appears to have been made in tackling high unemployment among BME communities and the barriers to their labour market participation.

The issue of young BME unemployment was broached by Professor David Blanchflower in a column in the New Statesman in February 2010 in which he outlined the high levels of Muslim youth unemployment compared to youth unemployment for other minority groups and White Britons.

Late last year, new evidence from the Labour Force Surveys showed Muslims to suffer the highest level of job discrimination among all groups.

It is about time the two main political parties put forward serious policies to address the problem with mounting evidence of both having failed to get to grips with the discrimination faced by minorities in employment.


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