Ethnic minority graduates face uphill struggle to find jobs compared to white counterparts

Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities in Britain face an uphill struggle when it comes to getting jobs despite the fact that more of them are obtaining degrees, a study has shown.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank found that the proportion of working-age people with degrees had increased across all ethnic groups from 12% in 1996-99 to 30% in 2014-17.

The proportion of working-age Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people with degrees has more than trebled since the end of the 1990s to their current levels of 50%, 30% and 25% respectively, according to the data.

The analysis showed that despite this, Pakistani and Bangladeshi graduates are about 12% less likely to be in work than white British graduates, and that Indian and Black Caribbean graduates have a jobs gap of about 5%. Black African and Bangladeshi graduates are twice as likely to work in low-paying occupations as Indian, white and Chinese graduates.

Kathleen Henehan, a policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The rising share of people going to university is a well-known British success story of recent decades. The progress made by black and ethnic minority groups is astounding, with the share of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi graduates trebling in less than 20 years.”

“But despite this success, graduates from a black and ethnic minority background still face significant employment and pay penalties in the workforce. These labour market disadvantages are a big living standards concern and mean we risk failing to make the most of the investment made in their education.”

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