Poverty and ethnicity in the labour market

Document type
Weekes-Bernard, Debbie
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
29 September 2017
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Minority Groups, Employment, Education and Skills, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This summary report brings together key evidence relating to the link between poverty and ethnicity in the UK labour market.

The UK poverty rate is twice as high for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups as for white groups. This summary finds that there are a number of drivers for the high BME poverty rate:

  • higher unemployment
  • higher rates of economic inactivity

  • higher likelihood of lower pay

  • geographic location

  • migration status

  • educational attainment

It also highlights key solutions for employers, local authorities, education support services and city regions to take on board. 

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