Jansev Jemal, Research and Policy Director at PBE, said: 

“Amid growing concerns of a nearing recession, the number of job vacancies has fallen over the latest quarter for the first time in two years. Yet vacancies still stand at 1.3 million, while unemployment has seen a minor uptick of 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 3.8%.

“However, the overall trend masks concerning inequalities in the labour market. The employment gap between the white population and black and minority ethnic communities has widened significantly since the start of pandemic.

“Post-pandemic, unemployment among the white population stands at 3.7%, having risen 0.1pp. In contrast, black communities have seen a 1.1pp rise in unemployment over the same period to 9.6% overall. Similarly, the unemployment rate for those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds stands at 7.9% and 8.5% respectively.

“With the very real prospect of a recession looming, there is a high risk these ethnic inequalities in the labour market will worsen. Concerted action to address these inequalities requires sustained policy focus from government.

“Policymakers and businesses alike would benefit from engagement with the many charities that provide vital support to ethnic minority communities, and can support employers to reach those furthest from the labour market.”

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