Documents to download

1.23 million people aged 16+ were unemployed in April-June 2022. Of these, 920,000 were from a White ethnic background and 312,000 were from a minority ethnic background.

The UK unemployment rate was 3.6% in April-June 2022.  The rate was 3.2% for people from a White ethnic background compared to 6.3% for people from minority ethnic backgrounds, although there was substantial variation between different ethnic minority groups.

People from White (3.2%) and Indian (4.7%) ethnic backgrounds had the lowest unemployment rates, and people from Bangladeshi (9.0%) and Black/African/Caribbean/Black British (8.1%) ethnic backgrounds had the highest rates in April-June 2022.

The number of people from a minority ethnic background who are unemployed has decreased from the same period last year, with unemployment levels falling by 51,000. Unemployment levels decreased by 253,000 for people from a White ethnic background.

The unemployment rate fell from 8.0% to 6.3% for people from a minority ethnic background, while it fell from 4.0% to 3.2% for people from White ethnic backgrounds.

Trends in unemployment

Prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment was at historically low levels for people from both White and minority ethnic backgrounds.

There was an increase in unemployment for all people following the start of the pandemic, although the impact was greater on people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

  • Unemployment levels rose to a high of 438,000 million in October-December 2020 for people from a minority ethnic background. This was an increase of 194,000 or 79%, from the same period in 2019. During this period the unemployment rate rose from 5.8% to 9.8%.
  • They rose to a high of 1.34 million in October-December 2020 for people from a White ethnic background. This was an increase of 319,000 or 31%, from a year before. The unemployment rate rose from 3.4% to 4.6%.

As shown in the chart above, the increases in unemployment due to the pandemic were considerably smaller than those seen following the 2008 downturn. The unemployment rate for people from a White ethnic background reached a peak of 7.8% in 2011 while the rate for people from ethnic minority backgrounds increased to a peak of 14.7% in 2009.

Since October-December 2021, unemployment levels have generally been falling for people from both White and minority ethnic backgrounds. The unemployment rates in April-June 2022 were low compared to historic rates.


Documents to download

Related posts